14 Essential Team Management Skills
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14 Essential Team Management Skills for First-Time Managers
1. Bringing out the best in others
Listening conveys trust and gives employees a great deal of ownership over their work.
Invest in employee development by sitting down with everyone to create Individual Development Plans (IDPs).
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
2. Giving constructive feedback
Both positive and negative
Focus on the action, not the actor.
Offer recommendations and guidance.
Make it a two-way conversation.
3. Delegating effectively
Providing context and stakes for each task, setting clear expectations, and picking the right employees for the right tasks.
4. Communicating with a variety of personality types
Focusing on commonalities instead of dwelling on differences
Practicing “radical listening” by giving employees your full attention
5. Perceiving and understanding employee work styles
Pay attention to your employees’ energy levels and moods.
6. Proactively detecting and resolving problems
Host weekly one-on-one meetings with each of your direct reports so you can hear about any problems and read clues to detect issues your employees might overlook or be reluctant to mention.
7. Resolving disputes
Acknowledge the problem instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist or that it might go away on its own.
Let the feelings flow.
Pinpoint the actual problem (outside of all the emotions) and the underlying need driving it.
Propose a solution and then talk about it.
8. Doling out recognition
Energize your employee recognition strategies with our ideas and templates.
9. Serving before leading
Be humble and give credit to the entire team.
Be transparent and reveal your plans for the future.
Offer an employee training plan, and other forms of career development.
10. Unifying teams
Frequently host team-building activities
Pair new or developing employees with veteran buddies to make them feel at home.
Hold safe-zone brainstorms so people can get to know each other’s communication and thinking styles.
Use teamwork and collaboration tools, such as Slack, Trello
11. Being approachable
Be the approacher.
Practice active listening.
Share more about yourself.
Figure out what your employees like to talk about
Monitor your nonverbal signals to avoid conversational shut-down.
Keep a go-to list of open-ended questions.
12. Representing the team
Even if it’s against your nature, brag about the work your team is doing.
13. Willingness to learn from the team
Listen first and make yourself heard later.
14. Strategically facing difficult conversations
Consider the positives that may come out of the conversation.
Breathe deeply to calm yourself.
Lay out a few key points to guide the difficult conversation, but avoid reading from a script
Truly listen and respect other perspectives and feelings.
Keep the conversation slow and steady.
Keep the goal of a resolution in mind.