8 Leadership approaches that foster team performance

Though there are no guaranteed approaches to improve team performance, yet some aproaches mentioned below can help in ensuring higher performance levels.

1. Recruit for skill and skill potential

In general the management starts thinking about the skills required in a team only after the team has been created. this seems to be a wrong approach. people should be selected based on their existing skills and their ability to learn new skills in the future, and not on the basis of personalities.

2. Be Concerned about first Impressions

Initial impressions matter a lot. Members of a potential team look for signals in the first meeting to confirm, suspend, or dispel their assumptions and concerns. they observe people in authority (team leaders; executives who setup, oversee, or influence team formation) very carefully. A leader has to reflect on what he is doing and what he is saying and realize that he is being observed critically.

3. Spend time Together

Team members have to spend a lot time (both scheduled and unscheduled) together at least at the beginning. such collective spending of time can bring in creative insights and personal bonding. a leader has to ensure that the members of the team interact. he needs to understand that when they are interacting, higher intelligence, which is far superior to that of any single member in the team, is at work. Unfortunately executives and managers are not used to deliberately spending time with their subordinates. they need to change this behavior. successful teams have always spent lot of time togather learning how to be coherent teams spending time together. it also includes time spent interacting through electronic means, fax, or phone.

4. Frame necessary guidelines to govern team behavior

Guidelines help teams to bring about predicability in their behavior. guidelines help teams to fulfill their purpose and achieve organizational goals. a leader can setup guidelines on issues such as attendance for meetinfs, matters to be discussed, the level of secrecy to be maintained, the analytic approach that is going to be followed, and the contribution of members to team's performance etc.

5. Promote a culture of Urgency and high standards

A leader must make his team members believe that the team is there to accomplish an urgent and worthwhile purpose. the more urgent and meaningful the team's purpose is, the better will be the team's performance. Teams generally perform better while they experience demanding and compelling situations. this is the reason why organizations with high performance ethics can form successful teams easily at short notice.

6. Value Contribution and positive feedback

Teams, like individuals need positive reinforcement. so a leader has to give positive feedback to his team members. giving recognition is also important because it creates, and affirms desirable and new behaviors that improve team performance. a leader can give recognition and rewards in different ways. he can, for example, address the team directly about the urgency and importance of its mission. he can also offer direct compensation for contribution to the team.

7. Identify tasks that can be Accomplished Immediately

Effective teams trace their cohesiveness and optimism to key performance oriented events. A leader has to set some challenging goals for his team in the initial stages. these goals should be such that they can be accomplished in the early stages.

8. Let the team redefine purpose and goals

A team can commit the mistake of assuming that all the information it needs is available in the collective experience and knowledge of its members. a leader must ensure that his team always has access to the latest information because this information can help the team to understand its performance challenges better. this understanding can further motivate the team to reinvent and redefine its common purposes, goals, and approaches.

In case you missed it, my last post was IndiZen 2017, 8th National Convention on Operational Excellence

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Acknowledgement: Leadership & Change Management book by ICFAI

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