High performing teams have the potential to deliver great benefits for members, the leader, the organisation and external stakeholders such as customers. Sadly, mistakes in leading teams can result in those benefits not being realised. So what are the most common mistakes you must avoid in leading teams?
Mistake 1: Setting vague goals
Teams need to know with absolute clarity, what they are trying to achieve. Vague goals result in teams lacking that clarity. If you want to avoid this, check if the goals that you set are both specific and capable of being measured.
Mistake 2: Imposing own ideas
One of the great benefits of teams is that they create more ideas, options and potential solutions than any one individual could. Successful team leaders recognise this and seek to leverage this range of expertise to achieve even better results.
Mistake 3: Ineffective decision making
While teams generate many ideas and options, the leader of the team needs to ensure that there are effective arrangements in place for taking decisions. Lack of decisions usually translates into lack of action and lack of action leads to limited results.
Mistake 4: Failing to secure resources
Teams, no matter how committed, cannot be expected to deliver unless they have the resources they need. As team leader, it is important that there is clarity about the resources that are essential and that these resources are obtained to get the desired results.
Mistake 5: Failing to address skills gaps
Teams are unlikely to have all of the skills needed all of the time. While this is natural, it is important that the team leader does not leave this area unresolved and makes sure that skills gaps are addressed.
Mistake 6: Failing to build relationships
Teams cannot operate in a vacuum. The leader has an important role in building the relationships within the wider organisation and with those stakeholders outside of the organisation who are essential to team success.
Mistake 7: Failing to set agreements
The role of the team leader is not to impose rules but to facilitate the setting of agreements that the whole team signs up to. These agreements could include areas like behaviours and how conflicts will be resolved.
By John Benson