Ever wonder how you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your team and improve the team spirit? If you are the leader, often, the answer lies within you.
Because, your colleagues follow you, and you know that. What you might not know yet, however, is how you influence your team by what you do AND what you do not do.
If you are reading this because you are interested in personal development, this is great! Not many leaders are, you know? Some of them think they know best and give orders, others simply forget to lead and so on. On the other hand, there are leaders and teams who function like a clock, look at the picture of the America’s Cup team. Amazing teams, amazing leaders.
In this post, we are going to look at why any personal development initiative can provide learn effects not only for you, but it can also help you building your team and developing it, if you take it seriously. And it does not have to be a classical team development workshop.
You have to be ready to learn
I am going to tell you upfront, if you do not want to change, it is not going to happen. You can attend as many in company semi
nars on communication or an online course on influencing, leading and building teams, it all depends on what you get out of it. If you have not enrolled to these courses yourself or have a specific interests in attending, not a lot will happen afterwards.
If you are ready, start with little steps. Maybe it is just one lesson learned from a meeting, or one tip by the trainer or a comment made by the facilitator, but that is a way to start. Do not hesitate to note things down and taking small actions when you get back in the office the n
ext day. Some training provide support with some follow up and action plans, use it! In case they do not, you can use this action plan as a support.
“How do I know whether I am ready to take a course?”, you ask? Well, one easy answer would be your own interest and curiosity in the topic and in your self development. Or a lack of a particular skills that you are aware of? Think of the other end. What do you get out of it? Will you be a specialist in a particular topic? Will you have learned how to give better feedback talks?
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ― Albert Schweitzer
It is not all about you, your team counts
Let us imagine that you have enrolled for a one-day in-company course on how to influence others. None of your team members participate. You see in the course outline that you shall receive some tools and tips on how to get messages across the right way, that you will go through case studies and that an exercise is planned later in the day to practice.
Now, let us think about what possible goals and consequently actions you could associate with such a training. And what would be the benefits for the team (even if just hypothetical) when you attend the training and apply some of the learning afterwards. Take a note pad or similar and write a few things down. If you do not have a team, write down the possible experience your colleagues or even friends would make.
Now, when you are done, here is a list of some personal actions and possible benefits for the colleagues mentioned in brackets, when you decide to learn and possibly change some behavior (based on the influencing course mentioned above).
Small steps can have big effects:
- You ask more questions (You want to listen more to better understand your team)
- You know better what you are good at and what not, so you stop doing too many things at once and delegate more (Your team gains more of your trust and works with more autonomy)
- You go around each morning to say “hello” (They find you are more interested in them)
- You give more advice to people (They perceive you as someone who wants to help, rather than someone who gives orders)
- You learn to persuade and don’t just give orders (They complete tasks because they want to, not because they have to)
- You try to avoid immediate reactions to bad situations, you control your emotions more (Less stress for both sides)
- You take more action and stop expecting things to happen (Your team appreciates your proactivity, notably if things change for the better)
This list is by far only scratches the surface, and nobody needs to implement these actions all at once just after one single day of training. It should just give an idea to see what is possible for you and the people around you. Some of these actions can also certainly be triggered on different occasions. Maybe you have had an in depth discussion with your business partner and gave each other feedback.
Now, what do you say? Are the “side effects” of your personal development you experience similar? Discuss below in the comment section.
Image courtesy to Peter Trimming