There are many, many factors involved in running a successful team, but few are more important than knowing how to be a good leader. After all, your team may well be made up of talented individuals, each with their own skills, strengths, weaknesses, and professional backgrounds, but without an inspiring and thoughtful leader to get behind, it’s unlikely they’ll be going anywhere fast.
Knowing how to be a great project manager or understanding what makes a good company team leader isn’t something that can be learnt overnight, nor is it (despite popular belief) some magical quality that people are born with. It’s the kind of thing you learn over time, which is often learnt through first-hand experience of working under leaders both good and bad.
In all our years of working with corporate teams across London, we’ve seen team leaders and project managers of all types, and of all approaches. Some fantastic, others less so, some full of ideas, others with singular visions and bold plans. The ones which really stood out to us here at Eventwise, however, were those who were genuinely cared about their team members, and who had mastered the art of truly relating to them. One thing is undeniable; you can have mountains of certificates, you can memorise all the correct procedures, technical tools, and soundbites… but if your heart isn’t in it, and you lack the ability to relate to those you work with, you’ll fall flat when it comes to real leadership and project management.
Because at Eventwise we’re all about bringing teams together for exciting and unusual team-building days, and we love helping people discover their inner leadership qualities, we thought we’d write this blog about how to be a good leader. Below, you’ll find ten tips that we believe to be absolutely vital when it comes to quality leadership and project management, and which are sure to help you take your team to ever greater heights of success. Enjoy!
Keep things positive
It might not always be easy, but it’s massively important to ensure that all criticism is constructive, and all complaints about team members are carefully worded and formulated to point to improvement, optimism, and greater achievements. Negative language and approaches are the surest way to demotivate team members, so when mistakes are inevitably made, accentuate the positive, and make it a learning experience which involves the team as a whole.
Praise even the smallest improvement
Positive reinforcements are a key weapon in the project manager’s arsenal, and something which psychologists all over the world agree to be a powerful factor when it comes to bringing out the best in team members. What are positive reinforcements? They’re all about recognising, acknowledging, and praising even the smallest achievement, improvement, or moment of progress. When we reinforce a positive step or action, the team member responsible will repeat that action, and take great pride in making it part of their way of working.
Be honest and sincere with praise
It’s widely agreed that this is one of the most effective motivational methods, and it’s a hallmark of good team leaders worldwide. Your team members - just like everybody else - desire significance and recognition for their work. However, they can also - just like everybody else - smell insincerity a mile off. Be honest, be sincere, be straightforward and responsive with your praise, and you’ll see superb results.
Encourage communication, and be a great listener
Ask any great team leader what the secret to their success is, and they’ll likely point to one key word: communication. There are loads of ways to open up channels of communication (indeed, many of our games and activities, such as our Artworks challenge, are based around improving communication), and it’s vital that your team feel comfortable and confident talking to each other, and to you as their leader. What’s more, it’s also massively important to show that you’re the kind of listener who really takes on board what your team members are saying. One impactful trick is to use fronted sentences, like “What I understand from what you’re telling me is…”, that really demonstrate you’re listening carefully and respectfully.
Take a genuine interest
Your team members have their own lives outside of work, their own passions, interests, and unique attributes. Take a real interest in who they are and what they do, and in return you’ll win their respect, their cooperation, and their gratitude.
Getting to know each other, and especially making new team members feel welcome and valued, is never unimportant or insignificant. At Eventwise, we’ve worked hard to come up with a wide range of activities designed to tighten teams and bring them closer together. Activities such as the Bear Grylls Survival Challenge would be a great example: away from the office, out of your comfort zones, and in situations where trust and mutual support is necessary, stronger relationships and connections blossom while learning new skills!
Be sensitive to the pride of your team members
Everyone makes mistakes from time to time - it’s not only human nature and inevitable, it’s also an important learning and improvement process. One of the most important lessons in how to be a great project manager is understanding that mistakes don’t have to lead to embarrassment, shame, or any negative feelings whatsoever. Handle your team members’ errors sensitively and with positive reinforcements, and do all you can to avoid hurting their pride in front of their teammates.
Be flexible with your point of view
You aren’t going to agree with everything your team members say, and you definitely won’t be able to implement all of their ideas on every project. However, what you can do is learn from their points of view, and try to understand why they think the way they do. As team leaders, we must be flexible with our own perspectives, and reach conclusions without exclusion.
Seeing things in new and imaginative ways, and using team efforts to reach important conclusions, is a key factor to many Eventwise games and activities. Take our Murder Mystery and Crime Scene activities for example; you’ll need to collectively look at evidence and clues, and listen to each other’s opinions and theories before solving the mystery as a group!
Own up to your own errors
Nobody likes to admit it, but none of us are perfect. Knowing how to be a good company team leader involves owning up to mistakes, and acknowledging when you haven’t done something correctly. Why? Because showing that you’ve recognised a mistake and apologizing to anyone affected is one of the surest ways to gain respect, and great team leaders should always earn the respect of their team members.
Set clear objectives
Goals are - without a doubt - the primary drivers of effort and focus. By setting clear goals and objectives, you’re able to lead more effectively, and ensure all team members are on the same page and sure of their individual roles. Want a concrete way to put this into practice? Try using the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-bound.
Make the most of quality team-building events
Want to be a truly great team leader and project manager? Nothing will be more effective than taking your team on a curated team-building event, specially designed to bring teammates together, make leadership qualities and other skills shine, and ensure morale is rocketed to sky-high levels. The following team-building events and activities are those with proven results, and which never fail to bring about lasting plus points and a wealth of benefits:
This team-building event strengthens decision-making abilities, and bolsters delegation skills and taking control of unusual situations. With one hundred different challenges to choose from, this event gives team leaders the chance to carefully think about strengths and weaknesses, and gives them a fantastic insight into what their team members are really capable of! Varied, exciting, and a huge amount of fun, it’s a team-building day packed full of surprises and incredible games to enjoy and compete in.
Being a great team leader involves seeking out the best qualities in each of your team members, and remaining diligent about skills and abilities you might have otherwise missed. The Apprentices is based on the hit TV show, and involves challenges which tap into your team’s business acumen and problem-solving skills. Leadership, delegation, teamwork, and commercial awareness will all be tested… but who will be rewarded, and who will have to fight to avoid being fired?
iPad Movie Making
Top team leaders and project managers are those who inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in their team members. In order to be truly creative, however, your team members need to have the confidence and self-belief in their abilities, and trust in their colleagues and superiors. iPad Movie Making is all about ripping up the rulebook, and exploring your creative powers in a fun, safe, and rewarding way, by getting teams to recreate scenes from their favourite movies. Delegation is also a key skill here, as you’ll have to decide on who’s best suited for each role: you’ll need actors, directors, editors, wardrobe assistants, and many more in order to make a scene that truly wows your audience!
How to be a good team leader with eventwise
Understanding how to be a great team leader primarily revolves around one key approach, which acts as something of an umbrella encompassing everything we’ve gone through in this article: make it your goal to serve those you wish to lead. With mutual respect, humility, great listening skills, approachability, and more, you can take your leadership practices to a whole new level, and achieve more together than ever before.
Here at Eventwise, we love working with teams looking to improve in all sorts of ways, and we have nothing but deep respect for team leaders who understand the power and importance of fun, interesting, and quirky team-building activities and away days. We’re constantly dreaming up new games and projects to offer to ambitious teams in London and elsewhere around the country, and we’ve ended up with a stunning and varied list of events that have been tailor-made for teams just like yours. With results that speak for themselves, and a top-notch reputation in the industry, we’re proud to be a leading company when it comes to team-strengthening and team-building. Want to find out how we can help your team and assist you in becoming a better team leader? Get in touch today!