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Archive for January, 2010

The Role of a Team Leader

Posted by Ravi Varma Thumati on January 25, 2010

Team leaders play a very important role in the development and encouragement of a team. It is their job not only to ensure that the standards of their team are high and the tasks that have been assigned are being done, but also to ensure that the team spirit and morale of their team is kept.

Some of the main characteristics of a team leader are:

  1. They need to have the ability to inspire a team.
  2. They should be responsible and dependable.
  3. It is very important that a team leader can recognize and acknowledge the contributions and ideas of their team members.
  4. That they can celebrate the accomplishments of their team.

Here are some tips on how to be a good team leader:

  •  Provide team leadership and coaching. It is important that you set a good example to your team. For example, try not to arrive late or leave early while you are working. You should always try to encourage the group through dexterity and constant improvement in their work. And always try to recognize the accomplishments and performances of the team.
  • Try to ensure that your criticism is constructive. When you are reporting back to a person in authority, try to highlight the good points as well as the bad points. If you only convey the bad points it may also reflect badly on you. Try to supply distinct suggestions on how to solve these problems that have lead to bad performances.
  • If you are positive, then this enthusiasm will give your team a lot of encouragement. Motivation is a very important characteristic of a team leader. If your team is at a low point, try to motivate them by eg. Having a meeting and discussing what the problem may be or by running small competitions among the team. Setting targets and having prizes for the winners can be an excellent form of encouragement. You should always listen to what your team has to say and by having a meeting every now and then you can take in their ideas-they may even have better ideas than yourself! It is very important to value these ideas.
  • Try to train your team without actually doing the task at hand yourself. If you constantly do the job for the team member they will find it very hard to learn and they may become dependent on you. It can also hinder a team members confidence and skills.
  • A team leader needs to be very committed to their job. They may need to work extra hours or be available at short notice. They have to be committed to their team and ensure that the standards of performance are kept at a high level.

There are many ways that a team leader can kill team spirit. Here are a few examples:

–      If you are critical of your team it may discourage your team members and thus cause tension. This in turn will drain your team.

–      You should never talk about team members behind their backs. This may cause them to distrust you and it could also form a barrier between you and your team.

–      You should not speak unfairly or badly about people in authority. Not only does it reflect badly on yourself but it could also cause you to lose your job.

–      It is important that you try to get to know all of your team members. You will be highly valued by your team if you show that you are interested in what they have to say. If you fail to get to know members of the team it may make them feel that their hard work is not appreciated.

–      And finally, never make others look bad. You should always take the blame for your own mistakes. If you leave it for your team members to pick up after you, it only reflects badly on yourself. It may be the easy way out to blame others but always remember that to build a barrier between yourself and your team is only killing the team spirit which is crucial if you want your tea to perform well.

It may take some time for you to build up a strong team but never give up. If you act as a good team leader, your team will eventually be there for you through the good times during your career and also the bad.



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