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6 Productivity Tips to Help You with Team Management

6 Productivity Tips to Help You with Team Management

Achieving high team productivity is a dream come true for all team managers out there. Successfully running a productive team is a very challenging task, as working with people can be seriously engaging. However, succeeding in running a team will make everyone happy, the leader, the team members and the company as whole. Remember, the best companies in the world are successful because they are comprised of incredible teams. So, if you are a team leader, these are some of the tips that will help make you and your team more productive.

Work on communication

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    Communication is the most important thing that a team can have. If you don’t establish good communication, many problems may come. There are two different ways to improve communication amongst team members. One is more focused on a personal level, whereas the other is concerned with a professional level.

    Bringing people closer on a personal level is something that can be achieved through team building events such as a dinner, weekend trips or similar types of activities. This will let people know more about each other, which will open more channels of communication. After all, it is much easier to communicate with a person you are familiar with than a stranger who is sitting next to you. On the other hand, it is very important to establish professional communication limits.

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    You do not want to create an atmosphere where people are going to talk about their private lives during work hours, as this is simply a distraction for the whole team. Therefore, it is very important to establish some rules about the things that need to be communicated, the things that your team members should be notified of and many other business-related things. The more both of these communication channels evolve, the better the productivity is going to be.

    Make sure to make breaks

    You are not going to be a better team leader if you simply force your team members to pull more hours of continual work. The fact is that we are all humans and that breaks are necessary if you want to stay focused on work during the period of 8 hours. No matter how good your team is, it is impossible to keep a high level of focus during an 8-hour period. A good idea is to encourage this type of behavior by taking breaks yourself as a team leader.

    This will signal to people that they can rest as well. A period of 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to relax your brain and let it rest. Making 3 or 4 of these breaks during working hours is the perfect amount of break time to provide to your whole team. This will ensure that they are less bored, less tired and will make them more productive. There is a precise science behind taking breaks, so make sure that you use it to help reduce stress and increase productivity – your team will love it.

    Shape the team members’ mindset

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      Turning your team into a well-oiled machine takes a lot of time and commitment. There is a psychological factor that has to be addressed. It is very important that every team member is aware that they are a part of something bigger, a part of a team, which itself is an integral part of the company. This will engage every team member to give more to the whole team and to the project. Stressing the big picture is very important, as it will get into people’s heads over time.

      What is more important than increased productivity is the fact that when someone is more involved in a task at work, there are much higher chances that a new idea that can take the whole company in a new direction can emerge. You never know how talented and ready to work someone is. So if you want your team to become more innovative, shaping your whole team’s mindset is a key starting point.

      Set realistic goals

      Setting realistic goals is very important because the sense of achievement is one of the things that is going to motivate people further. For example, you should avoid involving your team in projects that take more than 3 months to achieve, or if you have to face them with this sort of obligation, it is necessary to split up the project into smaller and shorter achievements. This will give people a sense of improvement after each completed step, even though the project is much bigger.

      On the other hand, task that take up to a month to complete will provide your team with a great sense of achievement. Small and well-timed wins will take your team much further, so be careful when determining how you are going to schedule tasks.

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      Give credits to team members

      Upon completing any type of task, no matter if the task was successful or not so successful, it is very important to show appreciation for all the people who were involved in the project. This will make each team member feel important and appreciated. If a task is completed without any given credits, the people will feel less motivated to engage more with the upcoming tasks, as they are not going to feel that the energy they invest is being appreciated enough.

      So, no matter how a certain task is performed, it is important to give some sort of pep talk that is going to motivate the people around you. Over a longer period of time, appreciating team members will not only increase productivity, but will also establish a sense of belonging to a family, increased loyalty and trust.

      Make a truly professional environment

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        All of the above things are important to establish, but the foundation on which all of these things should be built is a great working environment. Create a soundproof and isolated environment that is going to enable your teammates to be productive. Additionally, even though it may sound harsh for some people, access to a variety of time-wasting websites and social media networks should be forbidden.

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        These are some of the ways in which people lose precious time, as social media networks take away their focus for extended periods of time. On the other hand, while protecting people from the grasp of the internet it is important to make sure that there are no trespassers in the office. Any type of interruption is very distracting for the whole team, which can significantly reduce the productivity of the whole team.

        These are some tips that will encourage specific behavior and increase the productivity of the people around you. However, it is also important to apply some practical steps, so that people are more time-efficient. If you combine all of these tips, your team is going to feel like one big family, which will help them get the job done efficiently and enthusiastically.

        Featured photo credit: http://startupstockphotos.com/post/94180886521/waterstreet-coffee-bar-on-location-for-a via pexels.com

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        Last Updated on March 15, 2019

        How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

        How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

        When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

        Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

        In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

        What Makes a Leader Fail?

        A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

        If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

        And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

        What Is Effective Leadership?

        Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

        Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

        Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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        “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

        How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

        To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

        1. Courage

        The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

        “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

        Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

        For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

        In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

        It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

        Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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        2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

        If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

        The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

        To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

        3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

        Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

        Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

        4. Likability

        Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

        When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

        Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

        So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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        5. Vulnerability

        Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

        When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

        6. Authenticity

        Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

        Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

        7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

        Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

        Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

        Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

        Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

        As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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        “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

        8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

        Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

        This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

        9. A Passion for Continual Learning

        Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

        These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

        Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

        The Bottom Line

        No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

        Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

        More Resources About Effective Leadership

        Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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