Inspire, Support & Elevate your team to enhance productivity & your business

Inspire, Support & Elevate your team to enhance productivity & your business – Part II

So how do you Support your team?

In our last blog, we looked at Inspiring your team, in this one we consider how we support our teams.

Think about leaders and managers that have supported you in the past, what did they do to support you? How do you currently support your team? Hopefully, this blog will suggest other methods you can use.

As a leader, we have a leadership shadow, which can impact on those around us through:

  • What we say
  • What we do
  • What’s important to us
  • What we measure

What we say 

Consider how you communicate with your team. Is your communication style supportive, encouraging them to be innovative and solve problems themselves or do you have a more “tell” style?

Consider these questions:

Who do I speak to?

What language do I use?

What questions do I ask?

What is never asked?

How to challenge & support your team –Susanne Madsen


What we do 

Is your behaviour supportive of your team? Think about your relationships –do you have favourites or people you tend to talk to more than others? How does this effect other team members?

What’s important to us –as managers each of us may have different priorities to each other.

Consider these questions:

What is emphasised?

What gets in my diary?

What do I prioritise my time with?

Should you be prioritising your time differently and spend some time each week on supporting your team?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone- Yubing Zhang, TedX Stanford


What we measure

There may be certain things which we don’t follow up on. Our team will realise this and then maybe not do those activities. Are they required? Is there a reason you don’t follow up on them? We all have some activities that we don’t like doing; is the thing you don’t follow up on one of these? Could you delegate this responsibility to a member of your team?

Consider these other questions:

What is forgotten/ignored?

How do I recognise/reward?

How do I ensure accountability?

When answering these questions, think about the effect your answers may have on the team. If you made some minor adjustments, what impact would that have on your team’s performance?

How much time do you spend each week on supporting and developing your team? I would recommend that it should be around 20%. This may seem a lot but over time your team’s performance will increase as they grow and develop in their roles.

We all like our comfort zones and have a tendency to stay in them unless pushed to stretch ourselves outside of the boundary. As a leader, we have a role to play in encouraging our team members to stretch themselves whilst being supportive of them and giving them a safety net. If you think about when you were asked to undertake a task that was new or you did not feel comfortable about? If you have a supportive and encouraging culture around you and know that you can go to your manager with questions then you feel better about undertaking that task. Then, when you have successfully completed the task, you feel a sense of achievement. Therefore it’s important that you create a supportive and encouraging environment for your team to be willing to stretch themselves outside their comfort zone.

As a leader, it’s important that we all team members make decisions. Initially, they may need to run past you their solution/ideas, and you may feel happier with them doing this, but after a period of time you should have trust in their decision making and allow them to make them without running them past you. This may mean that mistakes will be made occasionally and you need to determine the risk of them making particular decisions. However, often we learn more from our mistakes that when we get it right.

So, if they do make a wrong decision/mistake, talk it through with them by asking questions so that they come to realise where they went wrong and learn from it rather than you just telling them it was the wrong decision.

So, in summary, consider:

  • Your leadership shadow and the impact that has.
  • How you can stretch your team members outside their comfort zone whilst providing a supportive environment
  • How you encourage your team to make their own decisions

Think about what small changes you can make that will have a positive impact on your team’s development and performance.

How to challenge & support your team –Susanne Madsen

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone- Yubing Zhang, TedX Stanford