You have been chosen as a team leader on a major project at work. What do you do? Run screaming from the building? Cower in a corner? Try to pawn your role off on a co-worker? No. You should get excited! In being chosen to lead the team, you are viewed as reliable and responsible. You should be flattered and prepared to take on the challenge. It does not have to be that much of a challenge, though. Through the utilization of three simple communication skills, you can motivate your team to success.
First, it is extremely important to use open-ended questions when discussing the project with your team. This type of communication will serve the entire team well from the beginning stages of defining your plan of attack, through the final stages of project completion. You, as a leader, can pose open-ended questions to open the lines of communication between the team members, as well as to promote a free flow of ideas. You will certainly garner more information through the utilization of this communication skill, which makes every team member feel a sense of responsibility for the project as a whole.
Also, a team leader should make use of affirmations in order to create a positive, cohesive team environment. Some members of your team will contribute more than others and it is your responsibility to encourage everyone to give input. When a team leader affirms the ideas of a less vocal member of the team, it will show everyone that what they have to say is valuable. Similarly, by affirming those who frequently share their opinions, you will provide them with motivation to continue giving to the project.
Finally, it is extremely vital to use the restating communication skill. By reframing or restating the ideas of the team, you are verifying the information with the contributor. Additionally, restating can serve to clarify the information for the entire team. When a team leader utilizes restatement, it also serves to motivate all those present. This skill tells the team to continue giving their thoughts and ideas to the project, as it is a display of your attention and interest in what they have to say.
So, the next time your boss announces that you are going to lead a team on an important project; you can feel confident in your ability. As a leader, it is your responsibility to promote a team venue conducive to communication and cooperation in order to achieve success. By utilizing open-ended questions, affirmations and restating, you are doing this, as well as creating a work environment that is encouraging and motivating for all.