Scrabble tiles spelling out MANAGEMENT is doing the things right, LEADERSHIP is doing the right things

What makes a good team leader?

Team leaders have their work cut out for them. In some ways their job is less demanding that those in higher tier leadership roles like CEOs and directors, and in others it’s more focused and intense. Having a team to manage means ensuring that everyone gets along and works well together, which can be a real challenge in tighter groups. Team Academy offer various leadership training programmes to get you in front on your leadership journey.

What makes a good team leader, and what are some of the ways that team leaders can adapt and grow in their roles?

What is a team leader?


A team leader’s specific responsibilities will differ from workplace to workplace. What your team leaders do depends on what you expect of them. They might be a single step below a workplace’s manager, or they could be one small part of a more complex organisational structure.

Team leaders could be considered the glue that holds their teams together, working amongst and in between their teammates to support them in working as one. They ensure that communication from higher-ups is passed down more clearly and directly to teams. This keeps workplaces tighter and makes sure that teams have what they need when the need for leadership rears its head.

Team leaders can be seen as a hybrid of management and staff, giving important help to both.

What does a team leader do?


Team leaders are a bridge between a team and their manager. Team leaders are often closer to the team itself and work within it while shouldering the job of reporting back to management and heading up roles including training, motivation, and the clerical stuff that comes with being
responsible for colleagues.

Team leaders also keep an eye on the performance of their team. They’re in the prime position to identify areas needed for training, team building, and maybe even promoting. Your team leaders might be empowered to organise these things on their own, or they can report back to management to get the ball rolling.

In terms of the ‘softer’ side of their roles, team leaders are expected to lead by example. They settle customer service issues that have been escalated, they advocate and speak on behalf of their teams where needed, and they make sure that the right people are in the right roles according to their strengths.

Being a team leader is a demanding role, but it fills an essential gap and it’s thoroughly rewarding for the right person.

What skills should a team leader have?

Team leaders need the same skills that are a benefit to leaders of all types. Having said that, their position in organisations means some strengths serve them well in more specific ways:

Diplomacy

Team leaders have a more focused dialogue with staff because they’re down on the ground with them. The higher up the org chart you go, the bigger responsibilities become that push out time to deal with staff issues. Team leaders are far more likely to be the first port of call for colleagues with an issue, and its up to them to try and solve it before it needs to travel higher up.

This takes a good ability to mediate and hear people out, especially if these issues involve fallouts between teammates.

People skills

You can’t lead people without knowing people. Great team leaders need to be able to
communicate effectively with others to bring out the best in them. Patience, empathy, and the ability to properly listen are just some of the ways that people skills can manifest in team leaders.

Team leaders in roles that are customer facing will find particular use of these skills, not least of all because they can be an amazing role model for their team.

Problem solving

When you’re a leader, people come to you with problems. That’s just how it goes.
You’re the person with the authority and the experience to help them, and even if that’s not necessarily true, it’s how a lot of people are going to perceive you.

Helping colleagues with their problems, when done in the right way, can be a good opportunity to model problem solving for others.

If you think you have all of the qualities of a leader, you can always try and learn how to develop your leadership skills further. There is always an opportunity to learn more.

Leadership

An obvious one, but then what is a team leader without leadership? Showing the good
qualities of a leader
gives a team leader more authority in their role and equips them for the challenges of managing their teammates.

Leadership can be a hard thing to define but when it’s missing, you know it.

What qualities should a leader have?

What makes a good team leader apart from their skills? There are some personal qualities that help anybody in a team leader role, including:

Patience

This goes hand-in-hand with any good skill or quality for a leader. Patience lets you give people time and helps prevent you from overreacting to problems and setbacks.

Kindness

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. People might be motivated by fear in a certain way, but being the leader that people hate to be around ultimately drives them away. Being kind and approachable is an awesome quality to have and it doesn’t undermine authority.

Integrity

Leading a team needs strong moral principles. It takes more than just honesty and
trustworthiness. You need to be able to stand by your team and help present a cohesive group that wins and loses together.

There are many more qualities that befit a team leader. Look to the leaders in your own life and see what you might identify in their character.

Learning to lead a team

Team Academy knows how to help leaders and their teams when things need shaking up permanently. We use years of experience and team building expertise to break down barriers and put people in situations they’ve never encountered before. The results have to be seen to be believed.

To learn more about our incredible leadership training programmes, get in touch with us today.

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