What kind of team do you lead?

Photo courtesy of Rob Campbell (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Rob Campbell (Creative Commons)

A boss I used to work for had a very abrasive communication style. He would bark orders, give little information other than the bare facts, wait until the last minute and expect everyone to jump through hoops continually to get things done. His standard email consisted of comments like, “make whatever calls you need to but this must get done by this date.” He was usually not part of the process and rarely gave praise.

Another boss would ask for things but give only a dribble of information. Instead of giving all the details, she would say we need to do this on that date. As the project unfolded, she would dump additional details on the team. There were often rushed orders to get the supplies we needed or panicked phone calls to set things up at the last minute, simply because she did not think through the plans and share them with the team. Her tone was usually short, and she sounded impatient when we asked questions to clarify what we needed to do.

My favorite boss scheduled a planning meeting well in advance of a big event or project with all the parties involved, and we would hammer out a plan and make sure everyone was on the same page. We would touch base throughout the process and share information. That way each person knew what they needed to do, that we had what we needed for the project, and everyone was working toward a common goal. She would recognize and praise good efforts, and even if she needed to correct, it was done with kindness and support.

It does not take much effort to lead a team like the last kind of leader. Leaders who communicate well with their teams accomplish more because they aren’t afraid to rely on the strengths of their team members, and use the power of brainstorming to find the best solution to challenges and issues.

They encourage the team’s efforts and praise the results, and they are part of the process instead of simply ordering the team around. Collaboration and success are the main focus instead of glory for the leader. These leaders have loyal, high performing teams.

As a leader, what kind of team do you lead?