So, in the final blog in this series, we consider Elevating your team. So far you’ve Inspired and Supported them, but how do you elevate them?
Elevating your team leads on from Inspiring & Supporting them, through creating the right environment for them to learn and move out of their comfort zone whilst giving them the safety net of your support. This should then lead to them increasing their performance and enabling you to delegate more so you can focus more on other things. So, we will consider effective delegation skills and what makes a highly effective team.
Often, managers may be reluctant to delegate for the following reasons:
- They can do the task quicker themselves
- They will lose control
- They don’t think the individual will do it as well as them
- They lack trust in the individual
Do these sound familiar to you? What happens though if you don’t delegate tasks? As a manager, it is necessary to delegate so that you can get on with your role. As your team develops and grows, you should consider what parts of your role you can effectively delegate to enable you to have more time to focus on other things.
Remember that delegation is the assignment of responsibility or authority to another person to carry out specific activities. However, you (the person who delegated the work) remains accountable for the outcome of the delegated work. When delegating consider who it is appropriate to delegate what to.
There are 5 key steps in delegating:
- Identify the task – is it suitable to be delegated and what is your reason for delegating the task? If you want to elevate your team, then you may choose to delegate tasks that allow them to step up and take on a bigger role as part of their development.
- Discuss the task with the individual, including your reason for delegating it to them. Discuss what is required and the timescale.
- Clarify Clarification ensures that the person undertaking the task has interpreted what is required correctly and the check in points if required.
- Back off. Often when we delegate tasks we make the mistake of not letting the individual get on with it and try to interfere.
- Feedback on Results. It’s important to let the individual know how they did with the task. If things didn’t go to plan, review with them and deal with any issues. You must absorb the consequences of failure, and pass on the credit for success.
If you delegate tasks to your team, it will enable you to step up in your role and enhance the performance of your whole team.
Here’s a video by Andrew Sillitoe How to create high performing culture
What makes a team highly effective?
Some of the qualities of a highly effective team are similar to those of an Inspired Leader; good communication and trust. So, if you are inspiring your team, you should already have these 2 “in the bag” but here’s a reminder.
Good communication within the team
Effective teams pride themselves on open, participatory communication and vigorous discussions. Ineffective teams are marked by gossip, hidden agendas and guarded communication. It is also important to have speedy and effective procedures for making decisions. Good teams collect information quickly and share it amongst themselves by putting it all ‘on the table’. The problem is then discussed openly, people listen to each other’s ideas, and then make a joint decision to which all the team members are committed.
Trust, cooperation and support
In an effective team, the members can state their views, ideas and differences of opinion openly, without risk of being ridiculed. This kind of atmosphere with no ‘back stabbing’ leads to support and trust amongst members. In turn, this generates co-operation from others. Members have no fear in sharing problems and asking for help.
Clear Customer Focused Goals
As an inspirational leader, you should have shared your vision and “big picture” with your team already but it’s important they have clear and focussed goals.
No team or group of people can be effective unless they know what they are trying to do. It is like trying to hit the centre of a target in the dark. You might hit it by pure luck, but there is a much greater chance that you will miss. The first step is to agree what you are trying to achieve, by discussion and consensus. In this way, the team members will feel committed to reaching the objectives because they will have been involved in setting them.
In his book “Will it make the boat go faster?”, Ben Hunt-Davis discusses how when training for the men’s eight rowing Sydney Olympics in 2000, the whole team had just one clear goal -Will it make the boat go faster? In everything they did whether it was their diet, training in the gym or how the team was made up, they considered whether it would make them go faster. And it did, as they won gold at the Sydney Olympics.
Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Roles, responsibilities, expectations and authorities should be well defined, understood and accepted. Work is fairly distributed and skills are well represented with team members’ abilities recognised and fully utilised. Team members should be fully accountable for individual and collective team performance. Ineffective teams struggle with role conflict, unclear boundaries, confused expectations and poor accountability.
Ben Hunt-Davis explains in his book how everybody within the team, including the physiotherapists and coaches, understood their role and were fully focussed on achieving their goal of winning gold.
Good Relations with other Teams
You may be a really effective team but if you do not have good relations with the other teams that you interact with, your overall performance will be hindered. So, it’s important that you understand the goals of the other teams you interact with and what’s important to them and how you affect what they do and visa versa.
Sir Clive Woodward Building High-Performance Teams
Book-Will it make the Boat Go Faster? Ben Hunt-Davis & Harriet Beveridge http://www.willitmaketheboatgofaster.com/videos/
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