Managing, leading and inspiring your team can be quite challenging in uncertain times. In this article the focus is on the latter: what are the best ways to inspire your team to boost its productivity and performance?
By Emile Fakhoury
First, let me start by defining the word team as I see it, it is a group of people that could come from diverse background and culture, working together and most important having a strong trust in each others’ to achieve the project objectives.
Not each project group is a team naturally, it takes time and efforts to establish and enforce the links between members of the project to achieve a team level spirit; therefore it is a project team.
The team can fail and win together, but their strong trust make them resilient to rebound and come back each time and not derail from the project objectives.
Many stress factors affect the project progress from various inputs coming from the schedule, quality and cost elements. Together as a team, they embrace changes and stress factors to overcome it.
The team leader understands and manages these issues while relying on the project team to address these issues openly and objectively. It goes without saying, communicating transparently is the key to reinforce the trust in the team members’ spirit.
A team leader is not a boss, by the way, the word boss originated from a Dutch word “baas” that means “master” according to Jonathon Haeber. Its use was a uniquely American way of avoiding the word “master,” which had quickly become associated with slavery by the mid-19th century.
This word should be soon banned in corporations and business world as it is not only killing the innovation and creativity but also lowers the team spirit and removes the trust in the team.
The team leader values team members and uses influence to inspire and go above and beyond without the need to apply authority, one can achieve best performance by inspiration and never by forcing.
Time is changing, and many organizations will have to embrace this choice to enhance collaboration and productivity. The focus is on the communication to connect with team members and stakeholders, seeking the benefits for the team and attracting the interest to achieve project objectives.
Leading by example will help inspire your team by showing how and why you are making decisions and task in your project, reminding each time the project objectives and benefit in an easy way using influencing.
A successful leader or manager uses influence not authority to enhance the team performance.
Understanding the team’s capabilities and motivators is key to attain best results and exceed your stakeholder’s expectations.
Start by getting closer to the team members and listen to their concern and work to address it objectively. This will help manage both relations and expectations for your project and organization.
Organizing awards and team sessions, not only at end of project, but throughout the project life cycle, improves the team spirit and influences to achieve optimum results.
Keeping the good reminders of the project benefits and expectations well aligned boosts the team spirit and overcomes challenges and face cyclic stress throughout the life of the project.
Team members will align with you, when you inspire and lead by example, you won’t need to chase to complete tasks. Things will move smoothly with respect to your team and stakeholders.
Emile Fakhoury is a Project Manager Professional working in oil and gas and power generation industries. He publishes regularly on corporate matters at The Levant news.