Being in a position to lead a team to a successful completion of a project can be more challenging than doing the task at hand. How can you get your team to get excited and feel as though his or her contribution to the project is just as important as everyone else’s? The answer is in ’empowering’ them.
You, as the team leader, need to be able to read your team members quickly to figure out their strengths, weaknesses, and what or how they work well with. Being informed with that information can be the difference between completing a project on time and exceeding budget due to competition or in-fighting within the team and losing focus of the real goal. A key characteristic to successful empowerment of others is to understand their personality.
It is important to know how to talk to your team as a whole as well as individually! Knowing how to talk to your team members individually can really help to get people motivated to do the work to the best of their ability, or better yet, to work even harder than they were before! Taking the characteristics of each team member and adding those to your talk can help make it feel more individualized.
At Epson India, I was facing a challenge! The team members were located far from each other in distance, spread across the four states in the west. And, I could spend only few days ( not more than 2 days at a stretch) with each one of them every month. I realized the best way to get the task completed was by ’empowering’ each one of them! I would get involved to know more of each one’s traits by understanding their personality. ( for eg., understanding them and discussing with them regarding what they aspire in their career during the lunches we had together or spending my time and going to movies together with them after office hours etc. But, I did different things with each one to understand them personally and ‘individually’ bond with them!) Though, the goal was the same – meeting the team sales target; I quickly realized that each one had his own strengths and weaknesses; also, the individual sales approach of each member was different from one another. Over a short period of time, I could make them see my point! Though, I was leading by example at the start to showcase the skills needed to complete the sale – eventually, each one of them delivered as per his individual potential and the market requirements. I could see there was a sense of admiration for me in their eyes because the sales was very poor earlier compared to what they could achieve with a new team leader! They felt ’empowered’ at the end of the day, as they could achieve more now!
Empowerment is not just building them up to make them feel good, it is about getting them realize that they are good at what they do, that is why they are on this team and that their contribution is vital to completing the target/ project. Once they realize this inside themselves, then motivating them becomes an easier task.
1. Learn about each team member individually. Learn their strengths, weaknesses, and how they can be most effective.
2. Do a personality scan to understand how you should talk to each person. People are individuals and take orders and understand things in very different ways. Knowing their personality allows you to adapt to them and work with them on their level. This is crucial for the team leader to lead the team.
3. Focus on getting them to realize their potential.