While cleaning my office for year-end planning, I came across a batch of articles I had saved over the years while managing various departments (sales, service, training, admin).
One such article (from a Priority Management* newsletter) is called “Eight Ways to Make Teams Work.” Here are their eight tips (in bold) with my thoughts (in italics):
1. Articulate Goals – this is the number one mistake most managers make: they either don’t set goals or they are not specific enough with the goals. I say it all the time, you can’t expect people to do things you haven’t told them to do.
2. Embrace change – it’s a cliché that the only constant is change, but clichés exist for a reason. Resist change and you become obsolete.
3. Communicate Well – this ties into point 1 and into every aspect of being a great manager/leader: you can set great, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant, stretch goals but if you don’t communicate them, it’s all just wasted energy. Also, you’re only a leader if people want to follow you. That means you need to communicate a compelling vision.
4. Get more out of meetings – I’m appalled at the way most managers conduct meetings: no agenda, no timing, no clear roles, no follow through, no deadlines, no ownership. Want to run a good meeting? Hire me to do it for you — or let me teach you how.
5. Commit to learning – another true cliché here: leaders are readers or lifelong learners. People commit to a team that challenges them and helps them grow or get where they want to go. They want to be inspired by people who can help them step up their game.
6. Learn to be a leader and a follower – know how to be flexible, when to lead, and when to step back and let the team members step up.
7. Trust your teammates – without trust, there is no team; there is simply a collection of aggravated people who’d rather be somewhere else.
8. Look for win-win opportunities – this is perhaps the greatest challenge, finding a solution in which everyone wins. Anything other than that is a compromise or a bust. New thinking will yield new results. Win-Win IS possible.
For the full article or more information on their products and services, click here.
*I used to use Priority Management’s (formerly Time Text) time management tools. I moved on to Franklin Covey, then David Allen’s ideas, a few others and now I use a blended approach to my own personal effectiveness.