As a leader and manager it is imperative that we continuously evaluate our team management skills – if only because others are evaluating them all the time!
I met recently with a prospect, (who is thankfully now a client), who wanted to discuss issues that he was having with his team.
He gave me chapter and verse about the team – their strengths and weakness, performance, length of time in role etc. This is all great information and really important when working with the team.
However, I was missing some critical information – feedback on himself as a manager and a leader.
I asked him to rate his team management skills, and after swallowing his initial shock at being asked such a question, he began to reflect upon this unexpected query.
To be quite honest he found it difficult to rate his own team management skills – not uncommon, I have to say.
To help him, I asked him a series of questions, which are an indicator of his skills, and he found the questions and the discussion so valuable that I thought I would share them here with you, so that you can answer these questions too!
Question 1: How open are your team members with you?
What I mean by that is, do they tell you what you need to know and little else? Do they tell you when they have made a mistake even if you are likely to never know about it? Do they share their worries and concerns with you without any prompting? Do you know their personal ambitions? How much do you know about their personal lives?
Question 2: Are they aligned on team goals or do they focus on their own specific ones?
In your discussions with them, how interested are they in the goals that other team members have? Or is it only in how it relates to them? Are they focused on the team goals? Do they contribute to the goals of others?
Question 3: Do they support each other?
Is it “every man for himself!” or will a team member who is struggling get help from the others? Do they offer support to team members or only when asked?
Are your meetings simply a series of discussions about individual silos, or are there discussions how the team can work together?
Question 4: Does open and honest debate take place between team members, or does the politics prevail?
Is there an atmosphere where everyone feels safe having an open and honest discussion about sensitive issues? Or does it feel like someone is being attacked or ambushed? Have you clear guidelines agreed for such discussions?
The answer to those questions (and others!) tells a lot about your team management skills – you should be able to answer an unequivocal YES to them. If you can’t, then…………! Well, if you can’t we should be talking! Honestly!!
I know that my client now has a much better perspective about his own team management skills.
What would your answers be? Go on, and ask yourself these same questions – or even better, get on a call with me and I will walk you through these questions to really challenge you and get you thinking.
Go on, write to me here and give me some options of dates and times and we will hook up to get the thinking going!
I promise you, you will learn a lot!