6 Steps to successful team development

You are only truly a leader when you can build a successful team. And that is quite a challenge… Team development is an art, isn’t it? And according to some, a science. If you consistently build high-performance teams, you are worth your weight in gold as a leader. This applies not only in business environments but also in sports. I like to follow successful coaches in sports because they are often publicly visible role models.

Can you learn leadership? Can you learn team development?

Are you able to guide your team to gold? My answer is unequivocally YES. However, I do add a ‘but’. Everyone can take steps on this path, but not everyone will develop into a top leader.
The condition for this journey is that you really want to, that you are committed, that you allow yourself to be guided, that you are willing to be vulnerable, that you want to develop yourself into the top coach of your team, and that you are willing and able to serve your employees. Your natural talent and interest in what drives others are important prerequisites.
This is why most managers will never become leaders and why most leaders will never reach the highest peak in successful team development.
I work with very driven entrepreneurs from fast-growing organizations, whom I support in their leadership and team development, their golden leadership. These 6 steps to successful team development always come into play.

1. Be aware of how you work

Are you aware of your leadership style? Of your leadership techniques? Are they as effective as you think? How are they accepted by your team? Evaluate yourself and be critical of where you can improve. Dare to ask your team members for feedback. I often notice that employees perceive you differently than you perceive yourself. And it’s important to realize this and check regularly.

2. Know your team, know your team members

You have hired people for your team, it clicked, and they have proven that they have experience in their field. And then it begins!
Do you know your people? Do you really know them? Do you know what drives them, what their needs are? What they need to work successfully? And do you know what they find important and what they need in your leadership?
Recently, I spoke with a manager who told me that he avoided going to the company leader because he would leave with even more assignments. After he mentioned this to his leader, it improved.
Do you understand that people are totally different from you?
This investment will pay off in the long run! Really! True leaders know exactly which ‘buttons’ to press to activate and motivate the talents around them.

3. Define responsibilities and roles

“Duh,” you might say…
It seems like stating the obvious, but it’s less straightforward than it seems. The roles and responsibilities must be clear to everyone. It is part of the structure of your company. See also my blog with the checklist of 4 factors to get a running team. This aspect partly determines whether your team is successful; it creates clarity. And the roles and tasks must also be interconnected. Think of team sports: who do you put where with which talents? The responsibilities are interdependent and must be linked together. Is a team member not good at a certain task? First, investigate if you can utilize their talents elsewhere, in a specific role that aligns with their specific talents.
See your role as a leader as working with a beautiful mosaic. Use the strengths and differences between your people to develop a golden team.

4. Be proactive with feedback

Feedback is, in my opinion, the most underestimated skill. Giving feedback in the right way makes all team members grow.
See my blog Feedback that works in 5 steps. Give feedback proactively and permanently!
Many leaders tend to wait until a problem arises before giving feedback. Feedback should be part of a natural dialogue. Formal and informal. It is the biggest accelerator for improvement in your team. It is also important to teach your team members how to give feedback effectively.

5. Recognize and give compliments

Don’t we all need validation, attention, and a compliment? OK, some more than others. Leaders who regularly give positive feedback make their team members grow. Nothing is more deadly than experiencing work as ‘just normal’. Then few or no compliments are given. While many employees crave them. It contributes to the sense of safety and trust in your organization.

6. Celebrate successes

In a time when we are confronted daily with uncertainty and fear, it is important to remain aware of the things that are going well. Are you a leader who is constantly aware of which team successes can be celebrated? Do you put yourself on the podium? Or do you push your team forward? After all, leaders are as successful as their teams, aren’t they? Do you celebrate your golden moments with your team?

What is your experience as a leader or with leaders?

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