How to build better teams – 11 short lessons for business leaders

Whether you are the CEO of a RegTech  small start up or a manager in a large financial institution, the management of teams can be challenging. But if you want to bring out the best in people and achieve extraordinary results, you need to be a good leader. We give you 11 short examples how you can improve your leadership skills – results guaranteed!

Assembling the pieces of the puzzle

What do you think?

Make it a habit to ask for the views of your team members and try to involve all of them (though not necessarily in every discussion, of course). It shows that you value their opinion and it enforces the understanding that you operate as a team in which each member counts. Plus, you might be surprised what you’ll learn!

Be grateful

If it doesn’t already come naturally, remind yourself to thank people for their contribution. It should be a matter of course, but unfortunately it often isn’t it. Saying thank you shows respect and that in itself goes a long way, but treating subordinates without respect will at best make them not like you or at worst lead them to build a grudge. Winston Churchill said “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers, which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.” While it may a bit extreme, but though they won’t literally eat you they eventually might – figuratively.

What do you need from me to make this a success?

Ask how you can support them and show your team members that you are willing to contribute to make it work. It shows that you’re in this together and that you’re concerned about their success. It also means that if someone acknowledges that they have all they need to do the job, they are more likely to accept accountability for the outcome and that in turn will help increase the probability of success.

Sorry, my fault!

Acknowledge your own mistakes, no one is perfect. It requires a fair deal of courage to admit it and it might go against the perception we sometimes have that the boss shouldn’t show any signs of weakness. Truth is that when someone truly apologises, we know they are putting honesty and honor above personal comfort or self-protection. Thus, it can become a powerful leadership tool as it increases legitimacy and, helps building a culture that embraces solidarity and innovation. Furthermore, it shows that you don’t act like you’re better than the team or act like you’re above them

I value your contribution!

This is a three-pointer: Firstly, an employee that feels valued and appreciated by the boss will go the distance for you. Secondly, they are also more likely to accept responsibility for their work. And thirdly and most importantly, it increases their self-esteem and they will be much happier in their roles. And a happy employee is a good employee!

Bright ideas + team work = Success

What did we learn from this that we can use next time?

Again, nobody’s perfect and mistakes are always going to happen. It’s important, however, that you don’t start the usual blame game. Instead, look for ways how to avoid the same mistakes next time and what else you could learn from it. “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”- Oscar Wilde

What information do we need to make this decision and do we have all we need?

Leadership isn’t about having all the answers. It is about asking the right questions and grasping what information is required to make a decision. As simple as that.

I have complete faith in you.

Telling someone that you have complete faith in them does three things: Firstly, it shows them that you trust in their abilities. Secondly, knowing that you do trust them, will in turn help them build trust in their own abilities. Thirdly, you will hopefully be able to let them do what they need to do and focus on something else. Delegation is an art or to say it with Theodore Roosevelt: “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

Do you have the capacity to do this now?

Before you assign tasks, are you sure that the person you give the job doesn’t already have enough on their plate to do decent job? If in doubt, you better ask them if they have the time and resources to do well what you ask them to. It also shows that you care about their workload and highlights the need to have a job done well – and not simply done.

Could we do this better and how?

Not always is the first solution the best one. It’s easy to fall for it, you might be working to a deadline, you have other things you want or need to take care of, you want to get over with it. Almost always, there is more than one solution to a problem and oftentimes the first that springs to mind is not necessarily the best one. People have the tendency to get used to what they know and what they’re comfortable with, are afraid of change for the fear of failure, but curiosity is an essential part of any successful organization. Asking for alternatives strengthens and inspires curiosity in teams.

Great job!

We’ve already mentioned gratitude but this one does two more things: 1) nothing says better approval and gives workers more confidence than when the boss praises them for their work. 2) Whatever business you’re in, you also need to show excitement for what you and your team do. Being passionate about what you do makes any task a lot easier. And if you’re not excited about your job, well, maybe it’s time to consider career options…