7 Motivational Skills for Leaders to Effectively Lead their Teams

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“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” These are famous words by the former American Senator, Bill Bradley.

Each member of your team comes with a unique set of skills. Your role as a leader is to unlock them and ensure that they utilize their skills to the full potential.

In the end, as you help each member achieve their individual goals, the collective team goals are met.

You can employ different strategies to boost your team’s productivity and vary them depending on the nature of the task at hand, and the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

With the following motivational skills, you can learn how to boost your team’s productivity and handle daily issues with ease without breaking their spirit.

Goal Setting

You need to present clear goals to your team members. The lack of a clear picture of what the team is aiming at causes confusion, and ultimately leads to unproductivity.

Reasonable goals and deadlines give your team a purpose and sense of direction. They need goals to know the initiatives to prioritize.

A clearly defined goal makes it easier to see the impact their hard work has on the team’s progress.

Setting goals should not be enough. The members should be able to relate to them at a personal level and adopt them as their own, after all a shared vision unites the team.

Communication Skills

Effective communication skills refer to the ability to express yourself in a way that your listener gets what’s on your mind. What you think and what you do should be closely aligned.

You need effective communication skills to let each member know what you expect from them, communicate priorities and strategies, to answer questions adequately, and update the members on the team’s progress.

Active listening in effective communication holds the same importance as speaking. You need to pay attention to your members’ ideas and feedback on your plans and strategies. It makes them feel valued and included. This fuels their efforts and commitment to the achievement of the team’s goals.

Optimism

A optimistic and positive attitude even in the face of challenges encourages your team members to adopt the same approach.

Learn to see every challenge as a learning opportunity. Be positive about your goals. When a member fails in a task, encourage them and still believe in them.

Using words like “useless” and “you can’t do anything right” are demeaning. Even when used on one member, they demotivate the entire team.

Maintain a happy and healthy work environment. Use humor during stressful periods, but not at the expense of others.

A positive work environment makes working enjoyable for your team and makes them more willing to add extra hours when need be.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent leaders can manage their emotions. They do not get angry outbursts or jealousy fits. They maintain composure in all circumstances.

They understand each team member’s personality and connects with them at an individual level; being aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.

Build a stronger relationship with your members by being empathetic. Empathy means you can put yourself in a person’s shoes and feel what they feel. Practicing this on your team members makes them feel valued. It makes them trust you more, and this translates to better performance.

The ability to manage your emotions and the emotions of your team members goes a long way in helping you influence their performance.

Diligence

Diligence is a skill necessary to achieve success in any area of life. It’s the ability to focus on the tasks at hand to completion; to be persistent in hard work and stick to the plan.

Diligent people are not easily distracted by short term gratification.

This is one skill that constitutes great leadership. If you as the team leader are committed to the team’s goals, you are sure to influence your team members to adopt the same attitude.

If you are always on Facebook and Twitter, and you take too long to deliver on your part of the project, how can you expect your team members to act any different?  

Giving Praise, Rewards, and Correcting Members

Acknowledging exceptional performance from your team members with affirmations is a way to motivate the team member to continue with the hard work while inspiring the rest to put their best efforts.

Recognition should be done in the presence of all members and could take the form of praise, or rewards.

On the other hand, correcting behavior should be done in private. It preserves the individual’s ego. It avoids embarrassment for the member which can affect their performance and instill fear in the other members leading to low morale.

Instead of shouting and making threats, provide focused guidance. It helps the member improve their performance and earns you respect as a leader.

Empower and Inspire

Empowering and inspiring your team members makes them confident in their abilities. It makes them eager to learn and deliver. This results in a motivated and productive lot.

Entrust them with new roles. Give regular and genuine feedback. Help them sharpen and develop new skills. Where possible, take them to seminars where they can receive coaching and achieve growth.

Appreciate your members and show them you are grateful to have them. Listen to their suggestions. Raise their spirits using creative stories and narratives. Show them different perspectives to situations.

Every leader desires to work with a team that is focused and committed to achieving goals. A team that does not have to be followed around or supervised every single minute.

As the team leader, you can create a motivated team by creating goals that give your members focus and direction. Sharpen your communication skills and always maintain optimism and positivity.

Learn to control your emotions and how best to influence your team members by understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Team members are more committed and engaged when their leader shows the same commitment to the team’s goals.

Finally, learn to bring out the best in each member. Praise good performance in public and correct in private.

A motivated team does not just happen; you create it. It is up to you as a leader to develop the right skills and use them to build a team that performs optimally.

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