5 essential practices for leading your new team
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
Teams are complex systems comprising individuals with their own unique skills, perspectives, desires and ways of working. Whilst leading any team has its fair share of ups and downs, new teams have the challenge of establishing a shared understanding of team goals, disciplines, different characters and ways of working.
There are five things it is important to know about leading a new team that can help lay the groundwork for effectiveness in the future. Even if you are an established team, checking you have these practices in place is a valuable exercise..
1. Personal self-awareness
Enhancing your self-awareness provides a deeper understanding of why you are thinking and feeling in certain ways.It helps us to tune into how we lead and the effect it has on the team. Is your default reaction to jump to the rescue? To avoid issues? To find blame? Past experiences and belief systems may alter how you approach situations and tasks. As a leader (and team member), heightened self-awareness allows you to be more thoughtful about your actions and the effect that it has on others. Feedback from others on how they perceive you build on your self-knowledge to make you more aware of your behaviours, your strengths and your blind spots.
2. Constant improvement
What would it look like if your team was high-performing and achieving its goals? Teams need to regularly review what needs to happen in order to improve their effectiveness. This could involve revising your processes, developing the teams’ skillset or improving ways of working and communicating between teams. The emphasis here is on constant improvement; placing importance on reflective and retrospective practices greatly helps with this. Another essential to constant improvement is giving and receiving regular relevant feedback. The greater the pace, complexity or uncertainty your team faces, the more time you will need to devote to constant improvement.