Becoming an effective Team or Group Leader

To become a team leader, it may come through volunteering, being appointed, or being elected by team members.

The team leader should be able to:

  • Stimulate enthusiasm.
  • See that conflicts are resolved.
  • Encourage communication and participation.
  • Keep meetings in control.
  • Ensure the team is making progress.

To develop openness and trust among team members and promote open communication, it should be understood that:

  • There are no stupid questions.
  • Team members must feel free to express all ideas.
  • Team confidentiality is required.
  • Team members’ feelings are as important as the facts.
  • It takes practice to develop tactful candour.

Traits of an Effective Team or Group Leader

  • Make every effort to be an effective communicator.

Most conflicts start because people misunderstand one another.

This is often followed by someone jumping to conclusions and making incorrect assumptions.

The team has great strength when all members are on the same track.

  • Replace defensiveness with openness.

People get defensive when they feel threatened. Let others know you respect their opinions, even if you don’t agree with them.

Establish an environment where people are free to speak their minds and understand how to do so effectively.

Every idea deserves to be given a fair hearing.

  • An Effective team or group leader understands the value of being assertive rather than aggressive.

Even if you are angry and ready to blow your top, you probably understand that approach is not going to get what you need.

You can satisfy your own needs without dominating others if you use openness, honesty, and peaceful negotiation to help everyone win a little bit.

  • Avoid argument for the sake of argument.

Arguments and power struggles can take a lot of valuable time.

If an argument is going nowhere, resolve it by applying a conflict resolution strategy, or table it.

Don’t dwell on it.

Personal ego gratification should take a backseat to team goals.

  • Don’t rain on someone else’s parade.

We all are proud of our achievements and possessions.

Belittling someone else’s achievements just creates tension and hurt feelings.

Sincere compliments, recognition, and support help to create synergy within the team.

Support your co-workers and they will support you.

  • Avoid contributing to doom and gloom.

If you are a pessimist by nature, try to look at things from other angles and register the amount of good work going on.

Pessimism drags down energy, productivity, and morale.

  • Refuse to play games.

Some people thrive on chaos and discord, but it takes two to play that game.

If you refuse to play, malicious behaviours can be halted before they start.

As a leader, it’s also your job to call it when you see it and deal with difficult situations and conflict.


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