Team Leadership SkillsFeb 07, 2022
To this point, we’ve dug into HOW teamwork really can make the dream work in our organizations and we looked at a few core competencies we’ll need to develop for effective team leadership. Now it’s time we really hash out exactly what skills we need to apply on a daily basis if we want to build the kind of team that great people want to actively engage in and the kind of team that yields the profitability our organization depends on.
As we started down this path, I referenced the direct ties between employee engagement and the feeling of being connected with a strong team. Here’s something I just read in an article from the Society for Human Resource Management detailing how employee engagement in the United States has dropped for the first time in 10 years (according to a recent Gallup poll). The same article also cited a year over year increase in the number of employees who admitted to being actively disengaged. If you’ve heard me share about this topic before, you know these are the folks I refer to as the ones who are trying to sink the boat!
The most concerning comment I saw in that article defined the group that had the sharpest rise in active disengagement: managers! It shared, “Gallup found that managers reported the most disengagement in 2021. This is significant because managers are often the key to helping boost employee engagement.”
Consider that statement I shared with you as we started down this path, “19,000 worldwide workers found that employees who reported they felt a ‘strong sense of teamwork’ described themselves as ‘fully engaged’.” Now let’s pit that against the rise in admitted disengagement among managers… That makes a strong case for just how important the team leadership skills we’ll be looking at now (and over the next few days) really are to building high performing teams! In fact, the SHRM article went on to say that “The best managers—those who help employees feel engaged—will lead their teams to top performances. They know the strengths of their team members, recognize their desire to make a difference and help them set priorities to do so. They also give plenty of constructive feedback, having at least one meaningful conversation per week with each employee.”
As I scoured other resources on this topic, they all seemed to echo that statement in the SHRM article and list effective communication as the most critical skill for building great teams. Since I do it so often, I won’t go into the specifics for each of the four primary communication styles, but this plays a huge role in whether or not a supervisor, manager, or anyone else with team leadership responsibility makes any conversation they have with their team members truly meaningful. Recognizing and understanding each team member’s unique communication and behavioral style helps us adapt the feedback we provide to meet their individual needs. Having this kind of insight about them also helps us understand where they’re most interested in making a difference and how their strengths best fit within the team.
When we start with this foundation, creating a sense of belonging within the team and earning a higher level of engagement become much easier - and that leads right into the team leadership skill we’ll look at next… Before that though, if you’re not clear on how understanding the individual communication styles of your team members ties into all that I just shared, schedule a 15 minute call with me so we can take a look at how you can get that clarity…