Three Leadership Skills and How to Use Them

This is the second of Three Leadership Skills:

2. Fostering Collaboration

In the First Leadership Skill, we discussed establishing a strong understanding of the vision, mission and values for the company, it is now time to help your individual team members collaborate. This is probably one of your biggest jobs as a leader and manager. We would like our teams to get along and live in the culture we have set forth but many times we are not clear on what type of culture we would like to build. Which is another topic for another day!

Let’s instead focus on forming our teams. The first part is to make sure that we have hired the right people. What does “the right people” mean? Well, you might hear other experts state – don’t hire based upon the skill, hire based upon whether they fit in the culture. I beg to differ. The company and the success of the company are all about providing to the client that exceptional product or service. Without having the right tools in your toolbox, i.e.; the right talent, you will never be the company you are hoping to be. Make sure you bring on top-notch talent – it will pay off ten-fold.

Now this top-notch talent may not fit into the culture right away, but if you have taken your time in hiring this person and introduced them to enough of the players in your organization he/she will know if this is the right fit for them and YOU. No one wants to work somewhere that does not fit their idea of a great place to spend 8-10 hours of their life every day. And if there is not a fit, they won’t last long anyway.

So now you have your talent or you have rearranged the talent you have. Next how do you get everyone to work together?

The beginning stage of your team: You will find that a new team will do a great job of getting along. Everyone works hard and they are energized to learn and work together. As a leader you will need to jump in early – tell them as a group what the common goal is – rally them around the mission and set individual goals that are made public so all know their are no secrets here – you all work as a team.

The next stage: Your team members soon start to notice that they do not get along so well with one team member or the other. They don’t see that each person has been brought to the team for their own special talents. They soon begin to jostle for position instead of understanding that they have been brought together for a common goal. This is where you as a leader need to jump in. Keep your team in line and on task or purpose. Bring them back to the vision – to the mission and make sure they each understand how team members bring value. If this stage occurs – work to move out of it quickly.

The third stage: This is where collaboration really occurs – once everyone understands and respects others on the team for what they bring, then you have what it takes as a strong performing team. Does that mean you can now sit on your laurels and hope it all keeps moving forward? Absolutely not. This is why you are the leader – you know how to bring your team through each stage and then keep them at the high performing level they want to be at.