One of the toughest jobs for any leader of an organisation is effective team management. Almost every manager has thought and researched on this topic – How to manage your team effectively. Well, I want to share some incredible ideas that should help you to not only build an effective team but also help you to have a team that grows together. Read on to know more.
Managing your team effectively
One of the most common problems in team management is that the leader forgets or ignores that every individual in the team is different. Different in terms of competence. Different in terms of commitment. And when the leader or manager tries to apply the same method of leadership on everyone – it creates tension.
A magical team management framework
Let’s get to the crux of the solution directly. This is a team management framework that will help you totally transform the way your team functions. It will make 10X more productive and conducive.
The first step to do in this framework is to identify your teammates on their levels of competence and commitment. List each of them as a High or a Low for both these parameters. Once you have classified them, you will be able to place your teammates in a 2×2 matrix of Competence and Capability.
Before we move on to the next step, let’s try to understand what we have in the matrix and its relevance in the real world. So, let’s look at each box in the 2×2 matrix and see:
- Low on Competence and Low on Commitment
These people will have major issues in performance. The lack on commitment may be because of their incompetence for the work. But irrespective of the reason, they would need high levels of coaching from you and other team mates before they become a useful resource in the team.
2. Low on Competence but High on Commitment
Team members who fall in this category will have similar productivity issues but they are easier to tackle. Why? Because they have high levels of commitment to their work and that means some direction to them should suffice to bring up their competence for the work assigned to them.
3. High on Competence but Low on Commitment
This is the trickiest of the lot. These are competent people who lack the commitment to work. For them, you need to be less directive and more supportive. You need to understand the reasons for their low levels of commitment. Once you tackle that issue, they can easily outperform the other two set of people discussed earlier.
4. High on Competence and High on Commitment.
This is the easiest set of people to tackle. All you need to do with them, is to delegate the work and let them handle it from there. Micro-management to this set will be highly counter-productive.
One thing to note is that, people will move form one box to other from time-to-time. For eg. It may change based on the work assigned to them. Or it may change as people evolve over time and their priorities change.
So, once you have your team members classified into these categories – you have to have a different kind of behavior to each. Some of them would need more support than others and for others, a hands-off directive approach is better.
The image below summarizes the style you must follow for each:
This style of leadership is known as Situational Leadership.
3 Team Management books you must read
There are many team management books out there, but I would recommend you to read the following 3 books to up your team management game:
How to win friends and Influence people
For you to be an effective manager you need to know how to build relationships with people and connect well with them. And there is no other book better than this Dale Carnegie classic to teach you that. A must read, in my opinion.
Leaders Eat Last
This is an excellent book by Simon Sinek which talks about making some fundamental changes in the way to approach your job as a leader. You would be able to get some amazing insights every time you read it. This one’s a keeper.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Scrum and Agile methodology has been popular for a while. But people often struggle to implement it well due to incomplete knowledge of it. This book will tell you everything you need to know from the horse’s mouth.
In conclusion, there are books and books that have been written on How to manage your team effectively. But we do not need to complicate it so much. A proper implementation of this Situational Leadership style itself will bring wonderful changes in your team.
Your team member will feel more contented with their work and feel valued in the team. What we are basically doing here is thinking form the employee’s perspective and answering, how can I make life better for them? Often times, this simple question can reveal surprising insights and help us manage our teams better.
Some of the most amazing examples of exemplary team managements can be found in sports. If you are a follower of cricket, you have plenty of examples of Situational Leadership there. Look at how Dhoni has been handling his team.
Dhoni knew that legends like Sachin fall under High Competence and high Commitment. And hence, he would never try to tell them how they should play. He would rather tell them their task for a particular part of the match and then get out of the way for them to do what they are good at.
Meanwhile, youngsters in the team need support and guidance to shine. And Dhoni would not hesitate to help them accordingly. That is Situational Leadership.
Hope this helps you in managing your team effectively. Before you go, in case you interested in some other posts I have written:
Until next time,