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So you’ve got your squad together. You have all these wonderful personalities, knowledge, and skills nestled into one unit. Your squad, the squad. Give yourself a pat on the back, perhaps even a self-hug, because you’ve just entered into a new territory, new plush grounds that were constructed for hosting battles.
Basically, just like your best friend, brother, sister, cousin, uncle, mom or pops, you’re going to rub shoulders eventually, but the way disputes and confrontations are handled solely depends on you. Yes, you.
Managing Your Squad’s Personalities
Just how cohesive can a squad get or be? As tight as you can tie it without damaging the fibers of each individual strand.
Managing personalities is like learning how to drive a certain car. Some cars are made for rougher terrain, some are all-weather vehicles. There are race cars, SUVs, etc. Just like the traits of each vehicle, you need to learn how to manage and develop personalities.
One of the best ways to manage personalities is to treat people accordingly, but never, and I mean never, treat someone special and the other team members partial. You must be impartial at all times and highly adaptable. This allows you to easily gain deeper trust from your team, which instills a certain amount of integrity that they will follow because of your leadership. This in turn helps the teams humility and unification factor.
Being genuinely interested in each individual will give you deeper insight into their background, drive, dislikes, likes, tolerances, moods, etc. Gauging individuals one on one is paramount to your squad’s development and you being able to manage those personalities. If you already know how a faucet will leak due to a certain tweak, you’ve gained insight on how to take care of it before it happens again.
Once more, through your leadership, you’ve already set the precedence upon how you act and move in the business world and personally. The team needs to get to know each other better and on a personal level; hosted events, team outings, recognition parties, and many more things can build morale, create a family unit, and help generate great benefits to your squad. All this develops that close-knit family unit.
You are the time master. You have all the keys or should have the keys ready for each member of your team. You should have developed a great relationship by now. Every team needs goals and a great plan with defining roles to work towards achieving those goals. Team goals should align with each squad member’s personal goals, promoting a healthy work environment, self-identity, and ultimately increasing productivity!
Nurturing Your Team’s Personal Goals
Remember, not everyone’s goals are going to be the same, which is awesome because that would be boring. Also, take into account that not everyone on your team will know exactly what they’re going after or what they want to do. You may have a fresh college student and it’s his/her first job. That’s where your months of observation and working with that individual comes into play.
Because you have a great feeling of their personality, and you know exactly what they’re good and bad at, you can give them sound advice on what it is they may be interested in. You can also start giving them small to large assignments based on their new set goals. Focus on real development and making your team successful. Doing these things out of empathy and humility will ensure the rest of the good things you seek to fall into place.
Balancing Your Squad’s Personal Lives
A good reminder—If they trust you, they will fight by your side, as you should for them. Protect your unit and they will protect you. Simple enough, right?
Remember, people have families, friends, and whole lives outside of work. As I stated before, you are the time master, so be considerate when assigning projects. Make sure your team is getting the adequate help they need and want. By personally supplying it to them you will ensure that everyone is performing on or above what’s expected. If one individual is falling behind, assign someone on the team that is a bit quicker, and/or stronger in some cases, to assist with lightening that person’s workload if you can’t help personally. You never know what could be ailing that individual that day. Unforeseen things happen all the time.
Another great takeaway when coupling certain team members together is the “ah-ha effect”. Think the “Splash Brothers”, the “Peanut Butter and Jelly effect”. It’s true, two-person squads can come up with the most creative and productive game-changers, so be open and keep an eye out for those special sub-squads. Encourage the squad to work together at all times, eliminating any discrepancies or last-minute emergency productivity disruptors. By reaffirming this particular part of the squad, you re-enforce your core beliefs about squad unity and spearhead this belief that will boost morale beyond your grandest thoughts.
You are the Core of the Team
At the end of the day, you are the core of the squad. They will loyally look up to you, protect you, and fight for you if you are willing to do the same for them. Treat everyone equally, but remember to deal with each individual personality accordingly. Be the prime example of the core beliefs of your squad at all times, sincerely and with the firmness of integrity. Management and developing a team takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when you finally get the machine working, it’s automatic. There will be a few kinks along the way because we’re all imperfect humans and we all make mistakes. Bad days befall us all, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. So, get out there and make that dream team happen.
Always remember, preparation loves victory, in all aspects of life. Treating your squad with this same outlook is paramount to the successful development and management of a great team. In turn, this creates a highly dedicated and respected leader. You’re the core, and I’ll talk about you, yes again, you in “Be the Core Power, Not the Core issue”.
Check back for part 3 of “How To Be A Successful Leader”. In the meantime, let us know what thoughts you have on managing your squad down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.