Churches use teams in every area of ministry. Think about all of the volunteer groups that make church happen! This is why strong team leadership skills are so important.
In addition, internal work teams help to plan and organize. These teams are how work gets done and contribute to the success of the organization.
Influencing a group of people to work together, in harmony is what leadership is all about.
Teams should have a designated leader who helps facilitate the team process.
The leader is a very important role in a team environment and influences a team’s ability to accomplish goals. However, ineffective leadership can result in the team feeling discouraged, defeated and unsuccessful.
Developing team leaders requires learning certain skills, and understanding what their responsibilities are, so they can successfully help their team accomplish what it was charged to do.
6 Examples of Team Leader Skills
- Team leaders need to have a good understanding of team dynamics.
- Their job is to teach and steer the group through the common stages of team development – forming, storming, norming, performing and transforming.
- They do this by making the team aware of the natural obstacles to team performance and helping them move from one stage of team development to the next.
Big Picture Thinker
- The team leader needs to be able to see the big picture and understands how what the team is working toward affects church goals and strategy.
- Through this lens the leader keeps the group focused on the team’s charter and goals.
- The team leader acts as a coach and instructs members on appropriate team behaviors.
- They are skilled at conflict resolution, reinforce team ground rules, and encourage members.
- This coaching is done while keeping the process moving toward the shared goal.
- Successful team leaders are great negotiators.
- They take responsibility for the team and negotiate with senior leadership to ensure the team has the necessary resources (people, time and money) needed to accomplish their goals.
- Team leaders are tactful communicators and are comfortable providing constructive feedback to the team, as well as individual team members.
- This is important because appropriate feedback helps to resolve conflict, brings resolution to problems and helps to build trust among team members.
- Team leaders have a good understanding of team dynamics and understand that conflict can be healthy – if managed properly.
- They confront interpersonal team issues and works toward finding win-win solutions.
Team Leader Responsibilities
Gains Consensus on Ground Rules
A team leader helps to establish and gains consensus on team ground rules. He/she also encourages fair play with team rules and ensures all team members are held accountable for their actions.
Develop Team Expectations
The team leader works with leadership on the development of the team by creating a team charter that gives the team focus and clarity of what it is trying to achieve.
The leader then helps the team develop SMART goals with identified accountability and timelines for completion.
Lastly, the leader communicates team expectations for achieving the team objective through the completion of goals.
Assists in Conflict Resolution
The team goes through several stages of development that includes forming, storming, norming, performing and transforming.
During this process, conflict can arise. A team leader will help the team systematically work through conflict by facilitating a conflict resolution process that educates them on how to constructively solve problems.
Establishes Team Goals
A team charter is what steers a team’s efforts. To achieve team objectives, there needs to be very specific (SMART) goals. A team leader helps the team go through the process of establishing actionable goals that provide clear objectives and target deadlines for the team.
Negotiates for Necessary Resources
Teams require resources to accomplish their charter. Whether that resource is people (to do the work), time (for members to accomplish tasks) or money (budget dollars) to purchase necessary supplies and equipment, teams need resources.
The team leader assists by negotiating with leadership to gain a high-level commitment to providing the necessary team resources.
Holds Team Members Accountable
Teams are only as effective as its ability to get things done. Team leaders make sure the team members understand their expectations for completing goals, adhering to ground rules, and completing team assignments on time.
Eliminates Un-compliant Team Members
Team leaders spend time developing teams but there are occasions when team members simply don’t play by the rules. While this is a rare occasion, team leaders need to be able to make the tough call and eliminate members of the team who hold the team back by not complying with ground rules and not meeting expectations.
Monitors Progress Toward Goals
At the end of the day getting the job done is all that matters. A team leader will review and monitor team progress toward goals.
This includes reminding the team of key milestones and holding members accountable for achieving tasks by predetermined timelines.
Celebrates Team Success
Accomplishments should be celebrated! Teams work hard and a good team leader will recognize significant accomplishments and will ensure the team celebrates successes.
Whether a team is defined as a departmental workgroup, a special project team or a group of volunteers working toward a common goal, if team members understand what is expected of them (goals), have the time, tools and training to do their job (resources) and are rewarded for doing a good job, you will have a healthy, happy and productive team!
How well does your organization manage teams?