Lesson 3 – Listening and being present are important to your team

Having a team leader that is motivated, passionate, driven and excited by making change are all wonderful things to have when you are in a team. Equally, it is very comforting to know that your Team Leader is there to listen and provide advice when you need it – it provides the ‘steady hand’ that is required to guide a team through difficult times.

There are times with Jake when he just wants to be near you; I wouldn’t say that he craves attention but it is clear that he feels more comfortable when we are around and a spontaneous act of care and affection (a pat for no reason) goes a very long way.

It is very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of team activity and the multitude of requirements that need to be completed. It is good for the team to take the time to show that you care – just listen to what your team has to say. I am not talking about half-listening; nodding your hear and making it look like you are listening. Nor am I talking about cutting off a team member before they can finish and provide a solution to their problem (I can be very guilty of that one).

Take the time to see how members of your team are progressing – What are they finding hard?, What is their most difficult task?, What can you help with?, What hinders them from being able to do their job better?, What do they enjoy?

The more listening you do the more likely you are to have the knowledge to help when it is required, as well as respond to the challenges that lie ahead.

When was the last time you took the opportunity to truly ‘listen’ to your team?

Learning on the Lead: Lesson 3 of 21 Leadership Lessons Learnt with my Dog

The other lessons are:

  1. Everyone Needs to Know the Rules.
  2. You need to protect your team from outside forces.
  3. Listening and being present are important to your team.
  4. Greet your team members like you are meeting them for the first time every day.
  5. Consistency is crucial to trust and understanding.
  6. Trust is built over months, not seconds.
  7. Learn the things that you shouldn’t do in the team.
  8. Remember that each team has different rules to live by.
  9. Show respect for your team in ways that they appreciate.
  10. Understand the unique behaviour and skill set you bring to the team.
  11. Look after your team and they will look after you / You have to meet the needs of your team.
  12. Breaks in discipline / performance can’t wait until later to fix.
  13. Leading the team is not a half-hearted, part time responsibility.
  14. The leader needs to guide the team clearly and precisely.
  15. The leadership hierarchy needs to be understood by all of the team.
  16. Genuine Acts of Kindness are worth the effort.
  17. You have to be prepared for a sudden change in direction.
  18. A steady voice is more effective than an erratic one.
  19. You don’t have to bark at every noise in the external environment.
  20. Sometimes you need to ask for help.
  21. You have to decide what you are going to fight for.