Beyond the obvious logistics of team operations, there are vital interpersonal and professional strategies that every successful business or organization needs. Having these characteristics as a leader will improve not only the productivity but also the relational aspects of your team. It can also help you establish a strong and connected unit that can withstand any challenge.
Here are five rules you can implement as a leader to create a healthy team environment.
1. Respect each other’s differences. Different viewpoints, beliefs and opinions have the potential to cause unhealthy tension and conflict. However, they are inevitable and crucial to an authentic team dynamic. Without diverse perspectives, teams can become one-sided and, as a result, lose their effectiveness and relevance.
We can often let our differences – personal beliefs or political views – detract from our core values and mission statements. In moments of division, you need to remind yourself and your team of the importance of what you are doing. Encourage them to discern when to speak up and when to remain silent and listen.
Recognize the value of different viewpoints. Be willing to accept criticism and make room for second opinions.
2. Create a safe place. Effective leaders are trustworthy. Set an example for your team by being someone who they would be comfortable going to with any issue. Avoid gossip, listen intentionally and follow through with commitments.
When you establish yourself as a trustworthy individual, you foster an environment in which people are comfortable sharing their ideas, expressing concerns and, ultimately, contributing to their team’s success.
3. Stay calm and collected. How you react to challenges and moments of crisis says a lot about your character. People notice more about you than you may realize.
To set a positive tone for your team, do your best to remain calm and collected under pressure and stress. As a leader, you have people looking up to you – and they should be able to depend upon you as a confident individual. This will encourage confidence and composure among your team members.
4. Own your mistakes. Humility and honesty are crucial in leadership. These traits build authentic character and enhance your relatability. You don’t have to be self-deprecating. Recognize when you make a mistake and acknowledge it to your team members.
Owning your mistakes will show your team that it’s okay to mess up. More importantly, learning from these errors will memorably – even comically, depending on the circumstance – demonstrate the principle that success often comes through failure.
5. Be consistent. Consistency is perhaps the greatest testament to a person’s character. It facilitates a healthy team environment by showing others that you are dependable and intentional. Don’t let a bad day throw you off. Always put on your best face and follow through with your commitments – you never know who is watching.
Respecting differences, creating a safe place, staying calm, owning mistakes and being consistent are just a few of many important leadership traits that foster a healthy team environment. How can you start employing these five practices today?