Recruiting the right people for your team is only the first step in team building. Once you have the skilled and focused staff you need, it’s time to work on building the connections among them, so they can pool their abilities for the greatest impact.
Here’s how department leaders and team heads can encourage and strengthen positive, healthy relationships on their teams:
Make communication a priority.
Conflict is inevitable, but many conflicts can be prevented or minimized with effective communication. As a leader, make yourself available to your team through multiple communication channels. Focus on active listening, in which you hear team members out, summarize what you’ve heard, and then make your own recommendations. Encourage team members to talk to one another and seek their own answers before coming to you, as well – doing so empowers them to work together more effectively.
Set the vision.
What does an outstanding final project or result look like? Where should the team be in one, three and five years in terms of skills and achievements? The role of a leader is to set an overall vision, so teams are motivated to pursue the day’s task within the context of that result. Spend some time focusing on how you communicate and explain the overall vision and be ready to answer questions about how day-to-day tasks support that vision.
Lead, but delegate.
Micromanaging kills a team’s impact in two ways. First, it saps team members of their intrinsic motivation. It makes them feel as if they aren’t trustworthy professionals, and it can cause some of them to leave the team. Second, micromanaging kills a leader’s productivity as well. When you’re holding your team members’ hands, you’re not focused on the high-value work you can accomplish.
To build engagement and increase impact, delegate tasks to those who are best skilled or most enthusiastic about the task. Check in periodically and make yourself available to answer questions but use that time to focus on work you can’t delegate.
At Kent Legal, our recruiters work with each of our clients to help them build the collaborative, efficient and impactful teams they need to reach their organization’s goals. To learn more about our legal support team, contact us today.