9 Ways You Make It Harder for Your Team to Get Stuff Done
As a leader, one of your most important roles is to inspire and motivate your team members. It's like being a coach: We won't likely become as smooth as the legendary John Wooden, former head basketball coach at UCLA, but we can study the greats and try to become more like them.
As a leader, you have to get better at calling the plays. You also need to be a mentor and instill life lessons to your young players. But, being a leader means being self-aware, admitting your shortcomings and, in this case, making leadership mistakes that are making it harder for your team to get things done.
It can be tough to realize that you may be making it harder for your team to complete tasks. Here are just nine examples of having the boss making it harder for the team to get stuff done.
1. Not helping them correct their time management problems.
What's the top reason why we aren't as productive as we would like to be? From my experience as a leader, it's the struggle with time management.
I know what you're thinking, though: Why is an employee's time management problems your problem? If an individual can't spend their time wisely, what's it to do with you? Well,as my colleague John Hall explains, "it's your responsibility to give your team a helping hand when this issue arises for them." How can you assist your team members with their time management problems?
For starters, make sure that they're spending their time on priorities. One way you can find out what their preferences are is by discussing what their goals are. "Ideally, these should be daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals that align with your organization's mission," suggests Hall. "Not only will this give purpose and meaning to everyone's work, but it also ensures that you and your employees are working on the right things at the appropriate time."
After you have made that discovery, Hall recommends that you also:
- Help them resolve complex issues. For example, find out why they're missing deadlines. If it's because their to-do-lists are too long, show them how to make a shorter priority list.
- Reduce workplace distractions, like only scheduling necessary meetings.
- Address "planning fallacy" by setting realistic deadlines.
- Allow for more flexibility. It's been found that sticking with a 9 to 5 schedule harms productivity. Allow your team to work when the person is most productive.
- If your team members are already working at full capacity, don't assign them even more work.
- Encourage them to break large projects into smaller, more manageable chunks.
- Help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. Encourage your team to take frequent breaks and don't pester them when they're off the clock.