Three Key Secrets to Successful Team Management

Soundarya Mahalakshmi

Last Updated: February 6, 2024
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One of the most popular proverbs in the world of business is: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The origin of this quote is uncertain, but the message is clear. Teamwork is essential for achieving long-term success and sustainability. But how can you, as a manager, create and lead a team that works well together and delivers results? The answer is to follow the 3 secrets of effective team management. These secrets are based on research and best practices from various fields and industries.

What Is Team Management?

There are some tasks which can’t be done alone. Individuals need to come together, discuss things among themselves and work together towards the realisation of a common goal. The individuals forming a team should ideally think more or less on the same lines and should have similar interests and objectives. People with absolutely different tastes can’t form a team. Their goals have to be the same.

Team management is a manager’s ability to carry out and coordinate a team to execute their tasks and common goals. Team management usually involves a manager, a team, communication skills, active listeners, objective setting, creating a positive culture, and oftentimes a project management software to help everyone stay efficient and organised. Efficient team management skills are crucial because they help employees feel more productive and motivated. Teams come in many shapes and sizes. These teams work independently or together. If all goes well, all these teams are aligned to pursue the same common goal. Team management is different from management teams. A management team is a type of team that deals with tasks such as managing, advising and training employees and teams or divisions.

Build a Great Team

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To succeed, you need to manage your team well and assign the right people to the right tasks at the right time. A high-performing team usually has five key roles. They are:

Leader: Every team needs someone who can lead and provide direction, vision, and guidance. The leader sets the mood for the team, resolves conflicts, and makes sure that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Facilitator: A facilitator helps to keep the team on track by organising meetings, setting agendas, and ensuring that everyone has a chance to participate. They may also help to mediate conflicts and ensure that everyone is respected.

Expert: The team needs someone who has specialised knowledge or skills that are vital to the project’s success. This person is typically the main source of technical questions or advice.

Collaborator: Effective teams work together closely and every member needs to be ready to collaborate, share ideas, and support each other. Collaboration also involves respecting each other’s contributions and communicating well.

Communicator: Good communication is essential to a team’s success and every member needs to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. This includes listening attentively, providing feedback, and asking questions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

By creating a top-performing team with these five roles, you ensure success by creating a clear division of work. Each team member has a specific role and responsibility that contributes to the team’s overall success. This also helps to avoid duplication of work and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Additionally, diverse perspectives, skill sets, and experiences lead to better problem-solving and innovation. As your team members draw on each other’s strengths, they can also hold each other accountable for tasks and responsibilities. Collaboration is improved and, because each person on your team contributes an important part of what needs to be done, motivation gets a boost. Each person’s role in an effective team is critical to the team’s success. By working together and fulfilling their respective roles and responsibilities, team members can achieve great results and deliver quality work.

Set Clear And Smart Goals

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SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These are the criteria that make a goal clear and realistic. By setting SMART goals, you can align your team’s vision and expectations, track their progress and performance, and celebrate their achievements. For example, instead of saying “We want to increase our sales”, you can say “We want to increase our sales by 10% in the next quarter by launching a new marketing campaign and expanding our customer base”. Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and teamwork is no exception. By fostering open and honest communication, you can create a culture of trust and respect among your team members, encourage feedback and collaboration, and resolve conflicts and issues effectively. For example, you can use tools like Microsoft Teams or Cisco Webex Meetings to communicate with your team regularly, share updates and information, and brainstorm ideas and solutions.

Every team member has their own unique skills, talents, experiences, and perspectives. By leveraging the strengths and diversity of your team, you can enhance their creativity and innovation, improve their problem-solving and decision-making, and increase their engagement and satisfaction. 

The Skill/Will Matrix

The Skill Will Matrix is a tool that has been used by managers for many decades to evaluate and improve the performance of their employees. It is based on the concept of situational leadership, which was developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard in the 1970s. Situational leadership means that managers and leaders adapt their style and approach according to the specific situation and the individual employees they are working with. For example, some employees may need more guidance and support, while others may need more autonomy and feedback.

Delegate: High Skill, High Motivation:These are the employees who have both the ability and the desire to perform well and take on challenges. These individuals are the rockstars of your team—skilled, self-driven, and always ready to take on new challenges. They thrive with autonomy and can even lend a helping hand as mentors. Nurture their potential by giving them more responsibilities and opportunities to lead; they’re the ones who set the pace.

Guide: High Will, Low Skill: These team members are brimming with enthusiasm but might lack the expertise needed to tackle tasks independently. They’re your future stars, hungry to grow. Guide and support them, providing the tools and mentorship to sharpen their skills and unlock their leadership potential.

Excite: High Skill, Low Motivation: These individuals have the skills but might be lacking that spark. They could be feeling uninspired or disconnected. Rekindle their fire by inspiring and motivating them; they hold the key to unlocking higher performance.

Direct: Low Skill, Low Will: Newbies or those still finding their footing fall into this category. They might lack both the skills and the drive at the moment. Offer them the guidance, support, and encouragement they need; with the right direction, they can bloom into valuable contributors.

Managing a team effectively boils down to three pivotal secrets: clarity, communication, and cohesion. Firstly, clarity in roles, goals, and expectations sets the foundation for success, ensuring everyone understands their purpose. Secondly, effective communication, both in listening and expressing ideas, fosters understanding and synergy among team members. Lastly, fostering cohesion and a sense of unity within the team, where every member feels valued and contributes meaningfully, is paramount. These secrets, when cultivated and upheld, pave the way for a high-performing team capable of achieving remarkable feats.

Fostering A Learning Environment With Mentoria

A well-managed team can adapt to changing circumstances and challenges, ensuring the organisation’s continued growth and success. Effective team management is essential for organisations to thrive in the ever-evolving business landscape. Mentoria fosters a culture of lifelong learning and personal growth, empowering mentees to develop their skills, confidence, and professional network. Our services are tailored to individuals at various stages of their careers, from students exploring career options to experienced professionals seeking advancement or career change.

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