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Authority Magazine

Joanna Gaudoin of Inside Out Image Limited: 5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Manage a Team

Get to know people’s strengths so you can best deploy their skills and abilities. Often people enjoy what they are good at most and therefore do better at it. I had one client whose team member wasn’t stepping up to the tasks of his role. I worked with her so she built the relationship with him, understanding how he felt about his role. This meant she understood what he was really good at and could get him to focus on using those skills. Where he did need to continue with elements he felt less good at, she worked out a plan with him to support his development in those areas. People can get very demotivated if they feel they are constantly struggling and misunderstood — nobody benefits from that situation.

  • Make time for the team to connect outside of work tasks.
  • Encourage them to build relationships with one another.
  • Role model positive behaviours including feedback, openness, positive work habits and time management, relationship building and communication.
  • Agree how hybrid working will operate, if relevant. Make sure everybody feels heard.
  1. Make sure people are clear what the team is there to achieve overall and what their part is in that. They need to have very clear expectations of what they need to deliver. In this regard, it can be helpful to consider how you and the people you manage respond to expectations. I had a client whose team member would constantly question her when she asked him to do something — it was pretty draining. I suggested she do Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies quiz to understand how she responds to inner (her own) expectations and outer ones (those of others) to know herself but also to think about her team member. It was very clear to her when she looked into this that he was a Questioner. This meant it was natural for him to want to know why he was doing something and to have as much context as possible. He wasn’t just being challenging all the time; he was someone that met inner expectations well but not outer. Therefore he needed to understand why he was being asked to do something to make it an inner expectation and get it done. In the future, I suggested my client provide more context and rationale upfront to avoid so many questions which would also help her feel more positive about their interactions.
  2. Consider others’ working styles and how best to communicate with them. If you know your team member isn’t at their best first thing in the morning, then wherever possible avoid having a key conversation with them then. Agree with them how best to communicate with one another, especially in a hybrid working environment. Be open to questions and providing support but agree how this is to happen so you don’t get a constant flow of emails or calls if that doesn’t suit you. During the pandemic, I had some senior clients who were getting called and disturbed constantly and others whose teams suddenly had no questions. Both have negative consequences in terms of relationships with your team so agree communication frequency and method.
  3. Give feedback and praise. Always make sure individuals get credit for the work they have done, both directly and in front of others, and provide feedback regularly not just in annual reviews. If people get used to an open and transparent feedback culture this will help their development. It also means the feedback is likely to be clearer as it is more recent, and they can recall the situation. I have so many clients come to me with vague feedback they have received and want to act upon — one example “My boss says I lack presence”. This is so unhelpful — we can all interpret that in some way but it is ambiguous and unclear. In which situations? With whom? Are there particular behaviours which contribute? Make sure you give clear feedback that people can act upon.
  4. Trust people with new and different tasks. This involves taking a risk sometimes but, with the right communication and agreement of check-in points and support, it is really important for everyone’s time management and development. People are often more motivated when they are trusted too. Tasks should always be done by the most junior level possible, so an organisation’s people resources are used effectively and everyone has the opportunity to grow and develop. I had a client who struggled to trust others and delegate, so we worked on him trying to do this bit by bit and arranging check-in points by either time period or when the person reached a certain point so both of them were sure he was on the right track. That trust and time investment to support him meant that next time that person could easily pick up that task, do it effectively and free up my client’s time.
  • Focus on building trust including trusting them to do new things.
  • Make time to talk about their career steps and development.
  • Foster a positive team and company culture.

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