5 Big Mistakes New Team Leads Should Avoid

By George Dickson

It’s exciting, and sometimes a little unnerving to be placed in a leadership position for the first time. You have the potential to guide a team of talented individuals to success, but you also have a responsibility to make solid decisions.

It’s easy to make a few beginner’s mistakes, but most of them are avoidable. Here are five mistakes that new team leads often make, and some easy ways to keep from making them.

1. Pulling rank

Don’t do this — not even if you’re an executive, but especially not if you’re a new team lead. It shows a lack of respect for your colleagues, a lack of self-awareness, and is one of the quickest ways to build lasting animosity between you and your team. In most cases, you’re not actually outranking your peers as a team lead anyway.

You’ve been given a position of leadership to help an already talented team achieve the best possible results. Don’t stand in the way of that talent; instead help guide it and cultivate it. One of the keys to doing that is recognizing and respecting the value of everyone’s time, their skills, and their contributions.

This is your opportunity to be a respected mentor facilitator; not the top dog.

Our friends at Officevibe shared a great piece that helps clarify the difference:

If you’re leading effectively, you’re leading with a deep and genuine respect for your colleagues. You’ll never need to pull rank because your team genuinely believes in your abilities, and will follow you willingly.

2. Making unilateral decisions

Although you’re in a position that likely requires you to make more decisions than before, you’re on a team for a reason. That team is one of the greatest assets you have.

While it’s not necessary, efficient, or even prudent to consult everyone on every decision you make, it is absolutely vital to include key stakeholders when you’re making decisions that will affect them. There’s a good chance they’ll have some keen and specialized insight into the issue you’re working on, and can help you to make a more educated and effective decision when the time comes.

Strong communication is one of the greatest assets you can bring to a team leadership position. Part of communicating effectively is taking suggestions with an open mind and without taking them personally.

If you do hear dissent from your team about a decision, it’s worth considering. Unless you’ve broken rule number one, it’s highly uncommon for others to default to dissent for the sake of obstinacy — there’s probably something important you’re missing.

3. Setting a breakneck pace

Of course you want to get the most out of yourself and your team, but it’s important not to jump in and crank up the intensity to a level others aren’t able to keep up with, or aren’t comfortable with.

It’s common to want to move quickly, and cover a lot of ground but starting out in fifth gear isn’t going to get you farther, faster. You need time to gain an understanding of how everyone Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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