By Bigg Success Staff
08-06-08

Leadership Skills

We’re all familiar with the old saying, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” This works counter to our behavior as humans since we normally respond best to “What’s in it for me?”

As a leader, you must bridge the gap between working as a team and satisfying individual wants and needs. It begins with how you act since you must lead by example. Here are six ways you can build team spirit:

Show respect to earn respect

It’s not uncommon to see a person’s demeanor change when they get promoted to their first position. They mistakenly think that people should show them respect because of their title. It’s an ineffective strategy. People respect people who show respect.

Listen actively before talking

One way to demonstrate respect is to listen actively to your people. Keep the conversation productive, but listen even when it stings. When your people feel like you genuinely care about their problems, they’ll rally behind you and their team mates.

Equal consideration of interests

If it appears that you’re putting your interests above (or below) your troops’ interests, you’ll fail to win crucial support. Demonstrate that you place all interests on an even plane. You’re looking for solutions that satisfy the needs and wants of all.

Know the purpose of every communication

Before you speak (or write), know why you’re speaking (or writing). Move along logically in your communication toward that purpose. Don’t react emotionally – sometimes it’s better to let something sit for an hour or a day, rather than harming a relationship.

Choose your words carefully

How you say it is as important as what you say. If you’re correcting an employee, don’t frame the conversation in “you”. Report what happened and explain why it’s not acceptable. And keep it between you and the relevant subordinate.

Think mutual self-interest

As you begin exploring solutions, find ways for everyone to win. By knowing the wants and needs of the individuals on your team, you will find answers that get everyone excited about working together. It’s not as easy as barking out orders, but it’s a lot more fulfilling and also more effective in the long run. 

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(Image by arte ram)