Four Steps to a More Successful Team

By Rex Houze

Successful management depends on working as a team. To attain that goal and keep the team strong, you must employ motivation, affirmation, inspiration and action. Read these four steps to keeping your management effective. 

Effective management requires that you:

  • Know what you want your team members to do.
  • Make sure they know what you want them to do.
  • Train them how to do it.
  • Motivate them to want to do it.

Signs of success: At the start of a career, desire can make up for a lack of skills. People with initiative will watch how you do things that work well and will pick up good ideas on their own.

Stress that they can control what happens to them. Emphasize that they're responsible for their own actions and results and that you will support them in direct proportion to their commitment. Also stress self-reliance. They must do what they say they will do so that people will trust and support them.

Work habits: The major goal of developing good work habits is to stretch - to accomplish progressively larger goals. Train people to schedule their high-payoff, revenue-producing activities in prime time slots and to do other activities in non-prime time. Time is as valuable to people as precious jewels. Goal-setting and accountability are also integral to success. Praising, teaching by example, prompting, nudging and even sometimes pushing are vital to the effective manager's success.



How to grow people: The goal of effective managers is to "grow" people. People tend to concentrate more on their failures than on their successes and on their weaknesses more than their strengths. This induces self-doubt. When this occurs, don't commiserate with them; help them look for solutions. Worrying about negative issues uses energy in a nonproductive way. People suffering from this negative syndrome may begin to procrastinate and become defensive and afraid that whatever they do will fail. They literally don't know what to do next and relive their past failures over and over. Help them pick themselves up and go on to future success.

Look for positive things to praise people for, and remind them of the good days they've had. Point out progress no matter how slight it may be. Affirm their efforts to keep them from getting discouraged. "Inspect what you expect" to make sure the people you manage know what's expected of them in activity, performance and attitude. Being a good role model is one of the best ways you can help someone snap out of the doldrums. Remember, the speed of the leader is generally the speed of the team.

How to motivate people: If your staff understands what you want them to do, knows how to do it and has the competence to do it, there's only one reason why they aren't doing it: They don't want to.

The first step in overcoming this is to know your people. Keep a journal on what you learn about each of them: goals, strengths, weaknesses, progress, setbacks and daily activities. Regularly meet with your people one-on-one to discuss obstacles, how their week ahead is shaping up and how their short-range goals are coming along. When you know what your people want and why they want it, you will enhance your ability to build a high performance team.

By Rex Houze, co-author of Bridging the Leadership Gap.

 © 2000, Rutherford Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission from Total Leader™ 

Rutherford Publishing, Inc. produces newsletters that help individuals and organizations discover how to take positive actions in key areas of their lives and to encourage people to use more of their potential. The newsletters include: Total Wellness®, Tyme Management™, The Total Leader™, and The Total Person™. 

 
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