By: Jennifer Joy
You have a team to lead, and one critical job - inspire and motivate all of them!
Your team includes high-performers and some who are a bit less motivated. With so many challenges in the day-to-day grind, you may be wondering how you can keep your team positive, focused, collaborative, flexible, and motivated.
Start by evaluating what challenges your team faces. To help you get started, think about the examples and the impact they may have on your team.
Let's begin with the issue of ambiguity. So many organizations expect people to be flexible and "able to work with ambiguity." However, ambiguity can quickly lead to confusion, frustration, and decreased motivation. Uncontrolled ambiguity doesn't inspire confidence in you as a leader.
To keep your team motivated and inspired, master the skill of deconstructing ambiguity.
This might seem like a monumental task, but you can help your team to rise to the challenge of working through ambiguity by clearly communicating the over-arching vision and goals, and making sure that everyone on your team understands how their work contributes to the overall success of the task, project, and organization.
Seek out the thoughts, concerns, and most importantly, the ideas of your team so that you can work together to deconstruct ambiguity. This level of open communication and team collaboration instills a sense of value for the team's contributions and builds trust and confidence in you as a leader.
EXERCISE GOOD JUDGEMENT
Have you ever considered how many decisions you make in the course of a day? Many of the decisions may be minor, but at least a few might be worth taking time to gather information, consider the impact of all possible decisions, and then proceed with confidence.
Sometimes your decision may be unpopular. Communication once again is going to be the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. Communicate how your decision was the result of carefully considering the pros and cons of different options, resulting in a decision that is in the best interest of the bigger picture. It still may not be a popular decision with everyone, but the perspective provided will likely reinforce the confidence in your leadership needed to maintain the trust you have been working to build with your team.
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND
The most appreciated and respected leaders are characterized as good listeners. Being a good listener means possessing a genuine willingness to seek first to understand, then to be understood.
This means being open to feedback and suggestions from your team and taking the time to truly understand their perspectives and ideas. By being a good listener, you build trust with your team and create a culture of collaboration and innovation.
The ability to adapt and change course when necessary is critical to success in today's fast-paced business environment. This means being open to new ideas and approaches, and being willing to pivot when things aren't working out as planned.
There will be those who have different perspectives on critical decisions. As you already know to exercise sound judgment, it is important to demonstrate value for perspective sharing, but also to reinforce the team's ability to disagree but adapt.
This is best done by choosing your battles and adapting to the preferences of others when there won't be a significant impact. Show your willingness to disagree but concede on occasion.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Setting the tone for the team and leading by example in terms of ethics, integrity, and hard work will position you to be respected. The key here is to prioritize being respected over the temptation to be liked. By doing so, you will build a culture of accountability and responsibility, and create a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
Additionally, you will likely inspire your team to also lead by example with one another.
Being a good business leader requires a combination of many different qualities, including the ability to inspire and motivate, make tough decisions, listen, adapt and lead by example. By developing and honing these skills, you can become a more effective leader and drive the success of your organization.