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Leading Teams Effectively

Leading teams effectively requires being both an effective team member and fostering an environment of team work within your department.

When managers work collaboratively with their teams to address challenges and achieve common goals, they are demonstrating effective teamwork behaviors.

When managers encourage, enable and motivate their teams to work collaboratively with each other to achieve common goals, they are demonstrating the ability to foster teamwork among others.

There are a number of competencies or behaviors that enable for managers to be both an effective team and to foster teamwork within the organization, including:

Demonstrating Teamwork Behaviors
(team member)

Fostering Teamwork Behaviors
(team leader)

  • Listen and respond effectively to others’ ideas and suggestions
  • Share one’s own ideas with the team
  • Openly and constructively express concerns about the team
  • When there is disagreement, express thoughts constructively
  • Provide honest and open feedback to other team members
  • Help others to achieve goals when they need assistance
  • Share knowledge/expertise with others to achieve common goals
  • Share vision and mission with others and work to achieve agreement 
  • Seek input on goals and objectives to ensure buy-in and commitment
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Collaboratively develop communication channels with team members
  • Create an environment that fosters and reinforces teamwork:
    • Rewards and incentives to reinforce collaboration
    • Encourage collaboration to resolve problems and meet goals
    • Provide learning opportunities for team members
    • Cultivate trust among team members
    • Collaboratively establish processes to solve problems and make decisions
  • Be the bridge between the team and senior leadership – helping to remove roadblocks/barriers that hinders accomplishing goals

The ability to both be a team member and to lead your team is essential not only for your success as a manager in the organization, but also to engage and motivate your team so they can achieve their personal career goals and work toward achieving the goals of the department and the organization overall. Being a team member, however, is not easy for all managers. As a manager, the tendency is to lead only, not join the team as a member. However, if you observe the best leaders you know, you’ll see that they function as both a team member and a team leader.

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