One thing I’ve learned from being in different leadership roles over the years is that no two team members are exactly alike. I’ve had to learn different strategies and tools to motivate and hold each member of my team accountable. I’m not advising that rules and guidelines be twisted depending on who you’re dealing with. Behavior such as that can cause many issues in a team environment. However, it’s important to understand that everyone learns and works differently. They bring different ideas, skills, and talents to the table and all of them are important.
For example, let’s say your team had to make a powerpoint to explain a new company policy and this powerpoint had to be presented by the end of the week. For one employee, all you may have to do is tell them that you need a powerpoint explaining the new company policy by Friday. That’s it! You have the powerpoint presentation in your email as early as Thursday afternoon with no questions asked. However, another employee may need more details. They may want to know how long does the powerpoint have to be, how detailed the policy needs to be, and so on. Knowing your team’s personalities and work habits can help give you wisdom and knowledge on how to guide them to success.
It’s also helpful to know how your team functions just in case someone’s behavior changes. Let’s say you had an ideal employee who always was on time for work and was one of your top performers. Then you notice that they’re suddenly tardy multiple times a week and their production has slowed drastically. By knowing that this isn’t your employee’s normal behavior, you can address this issue with understanding and compassion. Instead of assuming they’re just slacking off, you can approach them by asking is anything going on in their personal life that’s impacting their work. Then you can communicate and work with them to resolve the problem. Many things can impact an employee’s work performance. When we take the time to build healthy relationships with our teams, we can avoid assuming things about them.
I challenge you as a leader to take the time to get to know and understand the different dynamics that make up each person on your team. This can be applied to your home life as well. As a leader in your home, take the time to get to know your spouse and children. Know what motivates and inspires them. Have wisdom on how to deal with them. Once we do this, we can work well together and handle people correctly. Remember that part of being an effective leader is treating everyone right. In order to do this, you have to know who’s on your team.