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  • Leaders: Get the Most From Your Team

    Leader photo from ShutterstockThe best teams are greater than the sum of their parts. But for that to happen, they need a leader who can inspire and motivate every member to fulfill their potential. Some leaders struggle to provide the leadership needed to get the most out of members. To achieve maximum results, team leaders need to treat members in a way to encourage input and participation, and direct the team toward success. Here are several ways they can do that.

    Listen to the team

    The benefits of working as a team is that each member has something new and unique to offer. Brainstorming and problem solving sessions provide multiple ideas and solutions from which to choose. Leaders need to encourage members to participate by asking them to share their ideas and feedback. Seeking team involvement should be authentic and genuine, which means leaders need to listen to input and consider each idea given.

    Treat members with respect

    The fastest way to kill morale and team participation is to dismiss or worse criticize ideas shared by team members. Leaders need to show team members respect by listening to their input without judgment. Not all team members’ ideas will be great and some will be bad. But leaders will stifle creativity and feelings of safety if team members feel their ideas are ignored or will be ridiculed.

    Give credit where credit is due

    Leaders deserve credit when they’re able to lead a team to big results, but that doesn’t mean leaders should forget all the contributions from the team. Successful leaders not only give credit to members from within the team, but talk up the achievements and contributions of members to people outside the group, as well. Recognizing the work of team members is not only a sign of respect, but also builds morale and team confidence.

    Take the helm

    There is a difference between being a member of the team and being the leader. While leaders need to encourage participation, show respect and acknowledge contributions, they also need to be the person the team can look to for direction. Leaders need to delegate, mediate, and make the hard decisions.

    Leslie Truex is a career design expert who has been helping people find or create work that fits their lifestyle goals since 1998 through her website Work-At-Home Success. She is the author of “The Work-At-Home Success Bible” and “Jobs Online: How To Find a Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job”. She's appeared on CNN.com, Fox Business, Redbook and a host of other media outlets discussing telecommuting, home business and other flexible career option. She speaks regularly on career-related topics, including telecommuting, home business, marketing, personal development and authorship. Learn more about her at LeslieTruex.com.

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