Leading by Example
A manager needs to realize that the team members that he is now managing have seen him as one of them till recently. To earn respect in their minds, he needs to lead by example and demonstrate his competencies that convinces them that he is a good manager.
A very effective method to break the “He vs. Us” attitude that the team most often nurtures against a team manager is by unofficially handing over to them some control on their workings and functioning, even if the team members don’t have any of these powers of autonomy in writing as their duties or responsibilities.
Sometimes, the team members will have more technical knowledge and experience than the manager itself, however that shouldn’t deter the manager from asserting himself, because his job is more related to applying soft skills and coordination. A person can acquire technical skills, however no amount of technical expertise can substitute leadership skills.
It can be sometimes frustrating to find people not performing up to their potential. However, a manager should resist the strong temptation of expressing his frustration, either in speech or via his body language to the team members.
Sometimes, getting upset in adverse situations is totally justified; however, a manager should practice not exhibiting his emotions in front of his team, which will influence his team to also follow suit and behave professionally.
The biggest challenge for any manager is to keep his team motivated, especially if it is a team working in an ongoing process. The reason such teams quickly get demotivated is also due to the absence of any career opportunities, monotonous work and fixed pay.
Some managers request their management to split the annual bonus to be given to the team into multiple portions, like quarterly bonuses. Regular incentives, recognition and praising also helps in motivating such teams.
Teams in a working environment
Teams that are not related to a working environment usually are formed around a common set of thoughts, beliefs and clear objectives. When a person with opposing thoughts tries to be a part of such a team, he would realize soon that he/she doesn’t belong in that team, as there will be a conflict of personalities. These members will soon quit the team. However, the working dynamics are very different with workplace teams.
In the workplace, it is almost a norm for a manager to get people with completely different temperaments, some of which are:
● Belief Systems
● Motivating Factors
● Code of Ethics
● Styles of Functioning
● Career Goals
● Personality Traits
It might appear to an outsider that developing a team out of such different people is a recipe for disaster. However, it is a miracle that the best organizations in the world thrive on people with characteristics as far from one-another as possible, working together in complete harmony and synchronization.
To understand how this is possible, it is important to identify the common core that drives a team. There are three kinds of teams that have three very different ways of functioning. Depending on their working style, their managers chalk out a common program for all the members, which then is used as a motivating factor by each of the members in these teams.
There are three such types of teams −
● Multi-disciplinary Project Team
● Ongoing-process Project Team
● Strategic Planning Project Team
Let us now discuss each of these teams in detail.
Multi-disciplinary Project Team
In these teams, people from different fields of expertise collect together to complete a given task. Such tasks generally involve many functions, so often many individual teams working on one project are asked to come together as one single team for better coordination. As such a team is formed on special occasions, it doesn’t have one reporting authority, so the person who is assigned the responsibility to manage them doesn’t have total managerial control over it.
An ideal example could be the working of an event manager; every team involved in the event will have a team leader, be it catering, musicians, decorators, etc. He won’t have managerial authority over them, but he will be coordinating their operations.
Ongoing-process Project Team
This kind of a team is comprised of people working in one process for a long period of time. The team members are familiar with all scenarios and have also gained experience and expertise in handling these issues.
In such cases, the job of a manager is basically limited to providing supervision, authorizing certain processes and providing team support and motivation. He doesn’t need to be worried about the functioning of the team in itself, simply because the members of the team have been working in the process for long.
Strategic Planning Project Team
In such projects, the goals of the team keep changing all the time, depending on the scenarios and conditions they are working under. The team members have the liberty of not reporting directly to the team manager.
In such teams, scenarios and possible outcomes are discussed in detail and all team members have to be involved in this preemptive planning. These teams work on the principle of collecting prior information and later implementation