Let’s start with a little analogy of teamwork. Have you observed how a flock of geese fly? They usually fly in V formation and those at the back will usually honk at the one in front. This is to encourage the lead geese who puts in most of the work to overcome wind resistance. Once the leader tires, he moves to the back and another geese moves in to take his place. This form of support helps the entire flock of geese to fly about 71% further than if each geese were to fly on its own. In addition, if a geese were sick or got injured, two of them will slow down to help or protect him.
Isn’t it a wonder how birds know the essentials of teamwork? We humans can do far better with the brain that we’ve got. Explained below are the 10 ways how leaders can inspire team members to consistently give their best for the entire team.
1. Develop trust
Trust is the principle by which the team functions. If the leaders and members have the trust of every person in a team, everyone will be motivated to give their best without inhibitions or fear of being exploited.
2. Involve everybody
When the leaders share information with team members and ask for opinions, a feeling of camaraderie is created and members feel motivated to perform better. Important note: People want their opinions to be heard and know that it considered and acted upon if reasonable.
3. Be a good leader
As a leader, you must be 100 percent clear and confident of what you are doing and what you are getting done from the team. Faith in the leader boosts motivation among the team members. I have been consulted many times by leaders on how to improve their teams and the first place I always look at is the leader. Great Leadership = Great Teams.
4. Give feedback
Everybody needs a feedback on his or her work. Everyone needs to know how they have performed and what they need to do better. Nothing can be more motivating than a constructive feedback. Be sure to start with the positives though.
5. Active Listening
Actively listen to the team members. Listen to their ideas, complaints, grudges, suggestions… anything they may want to share. Just listening to them will give them will help them know that you care and support them.
6. Perform periodic assessments
Periodically assess the progress of the team as a whole and each individual in particular. If any team member is complacent, he or she will wake up and start performing to the best of his or her abilities.
7. Allow team members to give feedback to you
Let the team members give feedback to the leader at regular intervals. This builds mutual respect, mutual trust and confidence. Give them an avenue to tell you what needs to be changed.
8. Hold a weekly interactive session
Let each member of the team have his or her chance to address the team from the front. As a leader, it is always good to show how well the team has performed. If you consistently concentrate on the positives, you will tend to see a more positive behavior in the group.
9. Hold one-on-one meetings
With one-on-one meetings the leaders get a chance to know about personal difficulties of each member. Those who need extra help or extra training should be given so most gladly. Think of the goodwill it will generate.
10. Celebrate success of the team
If you constantly celebrate the successes of your team, both great and small wins, you will find that people will constantly want to share their successes and win even more! Success always breeds more success, and you need to keep the momentum up and running.
If you want to multiply your efforts and receive exponential results, you definitely need a great team. For every successful person, there is always a successful team behind him/her.
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