How to get the best out of your team

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As a high performance consultant, I spend a lot of time exploring how organisations can boost team productivity, engagement and results on a sustainable and healthy basis.

Ironically, there are basic steps that can be taken to achieve this vision and yet these are often overlooked and underestimated.

So here are three simple and (you’ll be happy to know) free ways to get the best from your team and create a thriving, high performing workforce.

Encourage a growth mindset

Help your people to embrace learning, feedback and self-reflection. We’re in an era of unprecedented change and uncertainty, driven by societal shifts and digital disruption. To stay ahead, we need people who can adapt, bounce back, learn from failure and seize opportunities.

It’s really disappointing when I meet managers who are reluctant to think differently and closed off to learning. This is largely driven by ego – either assuming you already know everything or dismissing new concepts as irrelevant if you don’t already know or understand them. Be prepared to eat your competition’s dust if you choose to create a culture of disillusioned superiority and close-mindedness.

Raise your people up high!

Many businesses believe their people are “lucky” to have a job. Some would say that people are paid to do their job so why thank them.

Wrong attitude.

This isn’t the way you build high performing, engaged teams who flourish.

If you are lucky enough to secure smart, diligent and proactive people, then do your best to show them they are special. This doesn’t involve rolling out the red carpet but it does mean showing basic manners and treating your people as you would like to be treated.

Give people feedback when they’ve done a good job and/or put in the effort. This goes a long way in making people feel valued and motivated to keep going.  Don’t only find time to have a conversation when you need something or when you need to deliver development feedback. Embrace the small wins too!

Positive feedback helps people to identify what they’ve done well and what they should continue doing. Otherwise you’ll get random and inconsistent results as people trial different behaviour patterns to see what sparks a positive response from you.

Don’t feel threatened that your people will surpass you and definitely don’t take credit for their work. Instead, be their biggest advocates and help them to grow.

Don’t stifle or limit people’s potential by enforcing the “I know best” mentality based on hierarchy. Instead, be open to ideas and encourage people to speak up and contribute their opinions.

As Simon Sinek said, “When we tell people to do their jobs, we get workers. When we trust people to get the job done, we get leaders.”

Role model excellence

Many managers are happy with the technical aspects of their work but they struggle to engage the minds and souls of their people. If you want to get the best out of your team, you need to LEAD. People are energised by inspirational leaders and not operational managers.

If you are at your best, your team will sit up, notice and strive to be at their best too. Don’t take this lightly. There are eyes and ears everywhere noting what you say, what you do, how you behave, the decisions you make and how this all aligns with what you are asking of them.

Say hello, thank you and well done. Good manners and humility go a long way. Make this part of your everyday behaviour until it becomes effortless. Show genuine care and interest in your people by checking in and asking how they are. Take time for everyone, regardless of where they sit in the pecking order.

Keep people in the loop and make their work meaningful. Make time to explain the context. A huge frustration in many businesses is being tasked with getting something done without having the full rationale or big picture understanding. If you want your people to perform at their best, involve them as part of the solution and not as cogs in the machine.

Putting it into action

So there you have it. Remember that each individual has different drivers, needs and values. In order to get the best from your team, you really need to understand your people and resonate with each of them on some level.

The business world is seeing a rise in popularity of concepts such as resilience, mindfulness and growth mindset. These are all characteristics and practices associated with high performing individuals and teams, but it really does start at the top. The saying goes that people leave managers and not jobs. It’s true, so my advice to you is simply to be the kind of leader that you would want to follow. Build the kind of team that you would enjoy being part of. Finally, recognise the unique qualities of each person in your team and enable these to shine through.

Abigail IrelandAbout the author

Abigail helps companies, executives and individuals enhance their performance and personal productivity.

She has developed a unique 360 degree approach that combines the world of business and wellness to boost concentration, focus, energy and performance both in work and in life.

To find out more about Abigail’s work visit her website

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