The thought of leading a team can make some people break out in cold sweats, but effective team leadership isn’t as difficult as it seems. All too often, leaders find themselves stumped by ineffective leadership strategies that may have worked in the past but are now detrimental to the overall effectiveness of their team. If you’re committed to being an effective leader, avoid these five stumbling blocks to more effective team leadership. Let’s take a look.
- Lack of Vision
Good leaders provide a clear vision of success and build their team around that vision. As a leader, you must be able to keep your eyes on that prize and keep your team moving forward, despite obstacles and challenges along the way.
Take time at regular intervals (preferably weekly) to sit down with your team and discuss major and small wins. If you’re not taking time out for both celebration and goal setting, then chances are your people aren’t either-or that could hurt morale in the long run.
Another issue related to lack of vision is being unable to see when things have changed. Just because it worked in practice doesn’t mean it will work in real life.
- Conflict Avoidance
When you lead a team effectively, there will be times when people disagree. Avoiding conflict and disagreement simply because you don’t want to deal with it can do more harm than good: There’s no way around it, so instead of avoiding conflict and disagreement completely, try initiating those conversations tactfully. Asking questions is an effective way to clear up some confusion or address some misunderstanding—you might learn that certain team members were missing some crucial information, like deadlines or expectations. Once everyone is on board with what’s expected of them (and what they should expect from others), it becomes easier for them to work together effectively as a unit.
- Unrealistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations are bad for any team leader, but especially so in a virtual one. When you place unrealistic expectations on your team, you’re setting them up for failure—because even if they somehow met these expectations, it would be an unwinnable game.
- Lack of Trust
A good team leader like Richard Nahas knows that trust is essential for team members to work together effectively. Richard Nahas is a leader in integrative medicine and CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine, developing tools that promote wellness with a focus on pain and the brain. When a leader doesn’t trust others, they take more and more control and micromanage. This creates a negative climate in which people become afraid of making mistakes—and fear of failure is often worse than actual failure because it stifles innovation and initiative.
- Being an Overly Critical Team Leader
As a leader, you need to take your employees’ opinions and feedback seriously. But you also need to know when it’s time to let go of certain ideas so that your team can move forward productively. Suppose you’re too critical of every idea—whether good or bad—your team will start questioning their thoughts and second-guessing themselves. This hesitation can slow productivity and lead to poor decisions in all aspects of your business, especially marketing.
If you’re a team leader, it’s easy to get caught up in all your responsibilities. In your daily routine, it can be hard to prioritize and schedule time for effective leadership training. It may seem like extra work; however, proper development of your team will contribute to their growth and success and ensure that you (the leader) develop into a more effective manager and leader. Use these five stumbling blocks as a guide when making decisions about how you’ll lead your group members in their development. It will improve their skills while strengthening their ability as a leader.