Many organizations use internal work teams to plan, organize and achieve strategic business goals.
These teams are how work gets done and are an important part of the formula for success.
Most teams have a designated leader who helps facilitate the team process.
The team leader is a very important role in a team environment, and successful team leaders have a direct influence on a team’s ability to accomplish goals.
However, ineffective leadership can result in the team feeling discouraged, defeated and unsuccessful.
Developing team leaders requires learning certain skills, and understanding what their responsibilities are, so they can successfully help their team accomplish what it was charged to do.
Examples of Team Leader Skills
Team leaders need to have a good understanding of team dynamics.
Their job is to teach and steer the group through the common stages of team development – forming, storming, norming, performing, transforming.
They do this by making the team aware of the natural obstacles to team performance and helping them move from one stage to the next.
2. Big Picture Thinker
The team leader needs to be able to see the big picture and understands how what the team is working toward affects church goals and strategy.
Through this lens the leader keeps the group focused on the team’s charter and goals.
The team leader acts as a coach and instructs members on appropriate team behaviors. They are skilled at resolving conflict, reinforce team ground rules, and encourage members – while keeping the process moving toward the shared goal.
Successful team leaders are great negotiators. They take responsibility for the team and negotiate with senior leadership to ensure the team has the necessary resources (time, people, budget) needed to accomplish their goals.
Team leaders are tactful communicators and are comfortable providing constructive feedback to the team, as well as individual team members.
This is important because appropriate feedback helps to resolve conflict, brings resolution to problems and helps to build trust among team members.
6. Conflict Resolution
Team leaders have a good understanding of team dynamics and understands that conflict can be healthy, if managed properly.
They confront interpersonal team issues and works toward finding win-win solutions.
Team Leader Responsibilities
- Works with leadership on development of team charter, goals and team expectations.
- Negotiates with leadership to gain high level commitment for necessary team resources.
- Establishes goals, objectives and target deadlines for team.
- Establishes and gains consensus on team ground rules.
- Encourages fair play with team rules and ensures all team members are held accountable for their actions.
- Communicates expectations of the team and the importance of completing team assignments on time.
- Ensures team establishes measurable goals.
- Takes proactive steps in eliminating team members who do not adhere to team rules.
- Helps the team with conflict resolution and educates them on how to constructively solve problems.
- Reviews and monitors team progress toward goals.
- Ensures team celebrates successes.
Whether a team is defined as a departmental work group, a special project team or a group of volunteers working toward a common goal, if team members understand what is expected of them (goals), have the time, tools and training to do their job (resources) and are rewarded for doing a good job, you will have a healthy, happy and productive team.
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Article originally published December, 2011, updated June, 2014.