As a woman in leadership, you have the rare opportunity to chart not just your own career course, but pave the way for a whole future generation of aspiring women leaders.
In this post, learn six key tips to build high performance teams that will benefit you and everyone you work with.
Tip 1: Know the difference between a boss and a leader.
If you think back to your first-ever job, you can probably recall quite easily what it meant to be “the boss.” The boss monitored who was late and handed out paychecks. The boss was “the buck” when there were workplace problems. This is precisely what separates a boss from a leader. It is also why team building is important when you aspire to become not just a boss, but a true leader. A leader’s job is to collaborate, coordinate and cooperate.
By maintaining the right balance between coaching and co-creating, your staff will use your example to continually stretch themselves until they become leadership material themselves.
Tip 2: Adapt for different personality types.
The word “team” is very in vogue in the workplace at the moment, but the day-to-day reality of leading a team is often not quite so glamorous. As the Institute for Women’s Leadership points out, this is because teams are made up of diverse and sometimes clashing personalities.
As the team leader, one of the biggest challenges of building a high performance team that you will face is the need to continually adapt your leadership style to reach each team member with a motivational and inclusive message.
Tip 3: Recognize small (and big) successes.
If you want to receive rave reviews from your work team, the key is recognition. The truth is, people love it. Even as a small child, chances are good your parents got more excited than you did when you won a sports trophy or a spelling bee. Recognition feels good, and in the workplace, it often leads to raises, promotions and networking opportunities, which are all also prized achievements.
As a leader, you will shine most brightly when your staff shines. Public recognition within your team, the department and the company is the key to keeping your star bright and becoming known as a leader who regularly cultivates other leaders.
As a side note, recognition is also a key component of holding on to the best and brightest talent for your company. Inc. recently reported that 70 percent of employees who received recognition stated they were satisfied with their positions, while just 39 percent of employees who had not received recognition felt the same.
Tip 4: Mentor and support other women.
Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, is perhaps the most well-known proponent of women helping other women. There are a variety of reasons why women in the workplace often still struggle to support one another. In part this stems from the still-shattering glass ceiling as women continue to break through into more visible, prominent and desirable leadership roles.
In part this stems from other elements in popular culture, which often still showcases women as competing with one another for men, money and other desirable perks. While it still remains one of the most significant women in leadership challenges female leaders face, it is also one of the easiest to overcome.
In fact, by choosing to mentor and support other women, you gain the opportunity to build a legacy of loyalty, trust and mutual support that will help each of you fulfill your highest potential.
Tip 5: Build your own support network.
As a leader, you will still remain first and foremost a student yourself. Leaders are always learning and always growing, which is becoming an increasingly essential skill in today’s tech-heavy workplaces.
In this, you will thrive by building your own personal support network of mentors, teachers and fellow leaders you can turn to for brainstorming, troubleshooting, networking and mutual growth.
Tip 6: Aim for making progress with passion.
Finally, one of your roles as a leader will be to continually foster progress in creative ways, both for your team and for your personal career growth. One of the advantages of team building activities is to help your team “break out of the box” in your thinking, problem-solving and creativity. You can then bring these skills back to the office to foster fresh innovations.
There is no one “right” way to lead a work team. Rather, there are many approaches. You may even find yourself using more than one strategy in a single day! By building your leadership toolkit using these tips, you set yourself and your team up for a bright future.