How to Manage Your Team

Sadhana Hall | Deputy Director, Rockefeller Center for Public Policy

All managers should want their team members to be competent—and happy, according to Hall, who develops management and leadership programs. She also coauthored Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice (2018) and recently won Australia’s Endeavour Executive Leadership Award. Employees, she notes, should feel joyous about coming to work every day and find comfort in their “work family” in times of stress and distress. To do so, every manager’s goal must be to create an effective, efficient work environment that empowers employees and brings out their best. Managers must keep goals realistic and should seek excellence, not perfection. Here Hall offers six ways any manager can create a high-functioning team, regardless of its size.

Make Yourself Understood
Clarity is key! Be clear about the skills and competencies team members need to fulfill your organization’s mission. Team members should be well-versed about individual and team roles and responsibilities. 

Hire with Care
When recruiting, seek the advice of those you trust in your organization or network. Have a detailed interviewing process that enables you to assess candidates’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Ask yourself if candidates will fit your culture. Take your time—you may later deeply regret a hasty selection. It is always better to spend time upfront selecting strong team members.

Fire Decisively
Be courageous and take the action needed. Your team is counting on you to fix the situation. Trust your gut when you feel uncomfortable about the performance of anyone on your team. 

Forbig Gossip
Tell team members you have zero-tolerance for gossip. If a person is gossiping about someone, nothing will stop him from running down other team members behind their backs. The net result through time will be bitterness, chaos, and random noise.

Lead by Example
Model behaviors such as humility, transparency, honesty, and authenticity. Demonstrate your passion and commitment to your organization’s mission. Integrity is a matter of your word, nothing more and nothing less. If you break your word to yourself or to others, you lose integrity.

Understand Motivation
Remember that although money is very important, it’s not the only thing that drives people. Your genuine respect and recognition of accomplishments do too.

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