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Important Skills for Dealing with Individual Team Members
The success of an organization depends highly on its human resources. It is without question the most skillful task and that is why organizations spend a good amount of money on training, monitoring, and evaluating employees. In spite of a human resource department in place, it is the task of a project manager to ensure that the employees are working as per the project requirements.
A project manager must be capable of managing a team of highly diverse individuals. Managing a team is nothing but managing individuals. And managing individuals is a task of its own. In this article, we will see the most important skills that a manager needs in handy to deal with individual team members.
What Is Team Management?
Team management is the ability to coordinate, manage, and motivate a group of individuals to complete a task. It includes various activities that are conducted to make a group of individuals work together. The setting of objectives, the delegation of work, team building activities, performance appraisals, regular group communication, etc. are all a part of team management.
While these activities are important and form a significant part of team management, there is one area that is as important for maintaining the team’s morale and coordination. It is the management of individual team members. This is important because it is not always possible to form a team where every team member has the desired skillsets. So it is the project manager’s duty to make sure that all the team members are properly trained, empowered, and motivated to do their roles.
10 Important Skills for Dealing with Individual Team Members
These skills are also required from a project manager in addition to project management in order to handle a team of diverse talents in an effective and efficient way.
Listen to What Everyone has to say
The first and most important skill is listening when it comes to dealing with individual team members. A good listener will make a better leader since he/she knows about the people in the team, their concerns, strengths, and weaknesses. With this knowledge, a project manager can motivate and empower individuals. It is also crucial for building better relationships with the team members.
As a project manager, one cannot simply use one’s position to get things done. Successful completion of tasks and coordination from the team members can be achieved only by building trust. It is a two-way street and hence needs efforts from both parties involved. The project manager can improve trust by allocating challenging jobs and by being transparent with the team members.
Allow the Team Members to be a Part of the Decision-making Process
People tend to work efficiently in teams where they feel included and responsible. This can be built by letting individual team members participate in the decision-making process. It will also help them understand the background of a problem or a project and hence reduced doubts.
Congratulate Publicly and Criticize Privately
This is a crucial thing that every project manager must know. Little efforts and accomplishments of every individual team member must be acknowledged and appreciated for others to see. Whereas mistakes must be discussed in private so that the employee doesn’t feel embarrassed. Also, offering criticism in private opens up room for conversation and fruitful discussion. The individuals will get a chance to explain themselves and therefore work effectively.
Establish a Balance Between Group and Individual Meetings
It is important to have group meetings to discuss project flow, task delegation, and project updates or changes. However, most individuals don’t get a chance to participate actively in group meetings and hence feel less responsive. In order to overcome this, time must be allocated to individual meetings as well.
Use of Power in an Appropriate Manner
Project managers have to build a sense of trust and goodwill through which he/she gains support from the team members. Excessive use of power will lead to hate and resistance to cooperation. Therefore a project manager must know when and when not to exercise his/her power in order to travel smoothly with the individuals in a team.
Be a Coach and Address the Problems of Individual Team Members
Individuals are likely to follow and coordinate with people who tend to listen to them and take interest in their well-being. So a project manager must also act like a coach and direct individuals towards their respective goals along with the project goals. They must make sure that the individuals are happy with their performance. If not, guidance must be provided then and there to help them function efficiently.
Manage Conflicts Properly
Managing a team is no easy task. Being a project manager, one has to deal with conflicts almost every day of work. Conflict management skill is highly important because it helps employees believe in the project manager. They should not lose commitment or trust at any point due to the lack of adequate conflict management.
Give Responsibilities Based on Talents and Performance
Delegation of tasks is important as it indirectly impacts the performance of an individual. In some cases, an overachieving and highly talented individual may be given a lame task and vice versa. This will demotivate or create uneasiness in individuals. Therefore, the project manager must provide responsibilities to individuals keeping in mind their talents and performance in past projects.
Provide Honest Feedback
A good project manager must be able to praise as well as offer constructive criticism. In order to gain the support of individuals, it is not right to ignore their mistakes. It is important to effectively communicate honest feedback along with tips for improvement to individuals in private meeting sessions.
Other skills that make up a good manager can be learned through training and experience. Whereas managing people in a team is an art that comes only with time and effort. A project manager must be able to handle individual team members effectively. A team cannot always be formed by people who are like-minded and equally intellectual. Hence the above-mentioned skills must be honed in order to make the most out of any project team that gets formed in an organization.
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