If a team is cohesive and collaborate—they are more efficient and productive. It’s what every manager and executive wants for their people. But, how do you get your individual team members to take more responsibility and to rely on the team—instead of you?
It’s a question that almost every manager asks at some point. When you train your team to work together and become a true team, each member will be better individually and collectively.
Here are two things you can implement with your team to help them gain their independence.
1. Don’t micromanage. Micromanaging only perpetuates dependency and disgruntles your team members. If you aren’t giving your people full control, they will come to depend on seeking your approval in order to complete tasks, projects and assignments. Take a step back and analyze whether you are too close to the process of each project and if so, slowly begin to move away from each step along the way. You’ll need to let go of control and trust that you have the right people in place to handle the job. If you don’t have the right people, you’ll still need to stop micromanaging, but you may also need to shift people around on your team or make a new hire.
2. Show don’t tell. When delegating tasks and giving your teams new items to learn and implement, it’s imperative that they learn the knowledge that you hold. They’ll need to know everything from why the task is being completed, who to go to for certain aspects of the tasks, how to trouble shoot, and anything else that is relevant. Just asking someone to do something without giving them a complete 360 degree view is setting yourself up for a lot more questions and interaction than necessary. Show them what to do, don’t just tell them to do it.
3. Encourage independence, creative thinking and mistakes. Yes, I said mistakes. When individuals know they are allowed to make mistakes and won’t be put on the chopping block, shamed in front of the entire team, or worse—they will feel the sense of freedom in exploring what will work and won’t work on their own. And, there’s no greater teacher than true experience and figuring things out. You can bet that any team member who makes a mistake once won’t do it again.
Overall, it is possible to train your team to work together and to be more self-sufficient, however, it always starts with leadership and management. Take a look at your leadership style and even your company culture and make any necessary adjustments there, before you expect your team to become fully independent.