As a business leader, have you ever been frustrated with your team’s ability to follow through and perform to your expectations? I know I have. And it’s disappointing when you are responsible for delivering results and you are not getting the support you need. Most business leaders are quick to point out all the things that are wrong, all the ways their teams are below par and the things “they wish” were better. Maybe you feel this way too.
Building a high functioning team takes commitment, it takes awareness and acceptance that things can be better – and it takes leadership. As a leader, there are some simple things that you can do to set the tone – starting today – to improve the relationship with your team and the results you are getting from them.
Here are three ways you can improve:
- Listen more. Spend more time listening to others than you spend talking. You’ll be surprised what you can learn and how it can help you to achieve your goals. I’m not talking about surface listening – just waiting for the other person to finish so you can take your turn. Active listening helps you to grasp the other person’s intent, their point of view and their issues and concerns. It includes hearing what isn’t being said and watching for tone and body language to truly understand where they are coming from. This level of understanding enables you to better influence the outcomes and results you are getting, because you have a wider perspective on reality (in other words, not just yours).
- Appreciate more. Even when you are disappointed with someone on your team, do it respectfully. Learn to appreciate and value their point of view. After all, each of your team members has a uniquely different perspective, based on their unique experiences, the roles they’ve played, how they think and feel, and what they believe. Adding their perspectives to your own will help inform your path forward to whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. This is how you build support for your ideas, as well as how you refine and improve them.
- Think before you talk. It sounds simple, but it isn’t always easy. Especially when you want to influence the outcome. Rather than blurting out the first thing that’s on your mind, it’s actually more effective to pause and consider exactly what you want to convey before you just start in. Have you ever noticed how some people begin speaking the second someone else stops—or worse, just talk right over the other person? It seems rude and immature. They couldn’t possibly have been really listening with the intent to understand, just waiting to hear the sound of their own voice. Learn to let others speak first and then, add what’s missing from your perspective. It really isn’t necessary to dominate the entire conversation—nor is it advisable.
By practicing these three simple tips, you will improve your relationship with your team members. You will also be perceived as a better leader and you will ultimately gain more influence with the team.
To learn more about improving the overall teamwork in your organization, join me for a free training session: How to Eliminate Dysfunction and Build a Cohesive Team. Click Here for more information and to register.
And, as always, I look forward to your feedback, comments and questions!