Johan Fanggara from Indonesia believes that it is essential to have trust when a team is collaborating. Trust is something we cannot ask for, instead it must be earned, and trust in a team is absolutely essential. As leaders, we must acknowledge our own strengths and weaknesses, which may impact the team. A leader must also be consistent, which means that we do what we say, therefore the team members will see that their leader is trustworthy because what we say does not contradict what we do.
In addition to trust, is respect also important in a team?
I really like the Golden Rule, which states that you should treat others as you would like others to treat you. Every person has their own strengths and weakness, but as wise leaders, we must focus on the strengths of team members and support them in their work. I am inspired by Simon Sinek’s book ‘Leaders Eat Last’. What I, as a leader, do to build respect within the team is to respect the team members and give them the opportunity to talk first in a forum. Let them deliver ideas or aspirations, then afterwards we summarize them so that they feel respected and appreciated because we listen to them, and we show them that they are valued.
How do you set expectations for the team?
The simplest thing we can do is to never assume, in order to avoid confusion. Make sure every team member understands their tasks and responsibilities because sometimes, for example, we assume that a person already knows what we expect from them, but in reality, this person is not sure or does not actually know. The most important thing to remember is that we must communicate clearly. I usually tell my team about the best and worst possible outcome based on existing experience or examples. In this way, they will have a clearer idea about what to do or what not to do.
What is the strategy to achieve the best team performance?
I have several practical strategies that can be useful for your team. First, as leaders we must become the example for our team and make sure that we can perform all the tasks we expect our team to manage. Second, use technology to support the team’s performance. I personally use Trello to manage on-going projects, to arrange the tasks of each team member and task deadlines. As a team member in Trello, everyone can clearly see the work progress they are responsible for.
The third strategy is assigning the right role to the right person. As leaders, we must be able to understand the strengths of different team members and place them in the division that will benefit from their capabilities. Hold frequent meetings and entrust different small tasks to team members even if it does not seem like the perfect match at first. In this way you can learn about their capabilities and passions. Acknowledging the DiSC model (a personal assessment tool) will help the team to perform tasks. For example, people with “I” personalities tend to be more open, although they are not well suited for work requiring precision and details.
Fourth, celebrate the small wins. Any achievement, albeit small, can be a team celebration. This can be done by, for example, giving away vouchers/e-money to those who have completed their tasks in a timely manner. As leaders, be generous in showing appreciation, whether privately or publicly, for example: “I’m impressed with your team’s solution for this project!” or as simple as “Keep up the good work!” We can also organize dinner parties from time to time in appreciation for their work and spend some quality time together. As a result, they will feel appreciated and will show better performance in their future tasks.
And lastly, treat the team as people rather than just workers. A wise leader must be able to appreciate the team members not simply as staff or based on their position in the company, but rather as partners or peers who are striving to meet a similar objective.