Tag Archive for: managers

Leadership is a Skill: How to Practice Leading People

Over the years it has been discovered and proved that leadership is not only for those born with a certain set of prime characteristics. Leaders rely on influence over those placed under their order, rather than relying on the authority given to them from whatever source.

Because influence is something we can have an effect on with our words and actions, leadership can also be affected by what we do. If you want to become a better leader, whether you’re in a leadership position now or not, what can you do to improve those skills?

Managers vs Leaders: Is There a Difference?

Leading people by developing leadership skills

Most Leaders Are Made, Not Born

It’s rare that you find anyone who is good at leadership from a young age and into their later years. Even if you do find someone like that, it’s often necessary for them to be trained in leadership skills to become an excellent leader.

Many leaders you see today have been training in leadership skills for years. CEOs, Presidents, politicians, military leaders, etc. All of these positions are trained in leadership at some point to build on what they already know and make them into leaders that are truly up to the task of handling the positions of power they hold.

No matter how good someone is at leading people naturally, they can always improve with training. Similarly, even if you are bad at leading currently you can also become better at it by purposefully practicing skills that are used every day in leadership situations.

Should a Leader Allow Employees to Fail in Order to Learn?

 How to Practice Leadership Skills

What skills are needed to be an effective leader? Here are some main skills and how you can practice in your daily life at work or in social situations:

  1. Initiative

Going out of your way to take on new assignments and get stuff done without being asked can help you to be more comfortable with taking initiative. This is something leaders do frequently when working on any projects. The ability to get things done is very important for a leader.

  1. Motivational Skills

It’s not directly your job to motivate your employees, but you need to create an atmosphere that will provide motivation to those who are looking for it. All motivation is self-motivation. You cannot force someone to become motivated, but you can put the circumstances in place that will bring more motivation to your followers.

  1. Problem Solving

Critical thinking and the ability to solve problems with innovative and creative solutions is an invaluable leadership skill. You can practice this at work by thinking deeply about a task that you have to do and deciding on at least 3 – 5 ways it could be done other than the way you’re currently doing it.

  1. Listening

Hearing and understanding what people are saying to you is vital to making a proper decision and meeting the needs of the people you are leading. Don’t just let your ears hear what people are saying to you; really focus on what they are telling you and learn whatever you can from the encounter. Learning to listen well will give you more sources for ideas, a better feel of what your subordinates need, and a more loyal staff.

  1. Self-Discipline

Leading requires you to hold yourself to a higher standard than those under you. It’s not wise to ask your followers to do something you are not already doing or willing to do (if you have the skills to do the task, that is.). Practice discipline by keeping a schedule in your personal life or being committed to doing a few specific things well and often. For example, you can practice self-discipline by starting a morning exercise routine and sticking to it without fail., thick or thin.

  1. Giving and Accepting Assistance

Leaders need to learn to delegate tasks. If you’re not currently a leader, you can practice this by asking for help and being willing to help others with their issues.

  1. Conflict Resolution

Not only should you learn to keep yourself away from unnecessary conflicts, you need to develop the skill of resolving conflicts between others or between yourself and another. Learn methods of resolving conflicts through healthy communications and critical thinking.

  1. Constant Learning

Leaders who do not learn as they go will not be good leaders. If you want to be as competitive as possible, you need to constantly be on the top of your game and in touch with new information that’s coming out in your industry. Don’t stop reading and trying to learn!

How Can Leadership Create and Encourage Teamwork?


Leadership is a skill that is composed of many smaller skills. If you practice and improve these smaller skills, you will improve your overall ability to lead others.

Take the time to learn about what you need to be able to do to lead well and practice those things. If not, you won’t be able to reach your full leadership potential!

Are You Leading People?… Team Building helps foster a learning environment where you can practice your leadership skills?

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate a range of fun based team building activities that can help build essential leadership skills that can assist your delegates in leading people. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you contact us today.

How To Convince Your Team to Buy Into Change

The Problem With Change Management

When we hear the word “change”, a lot of different thoughts and emotions can come to our minds. Change in your personal life might make you a bit excited or anxious, yet changes at work nearly always make people feel uneasy, angry, sad, lethargic, and a handful of other negative emotions. Some employees might be excited for the upcoming changes, but the majority will be feeling some version of upset.

Why do employees resist change so much? What makes workplace change so much more difficult to handle than other types of change? These are the issues that face any team leader as they approach a time of change management. This article will talk about some of the most effective ways of dealing with change and helping to convince your team members that it is a good thing which they should embrace. These are strategies that have been put into practice and proven to be useful over the years.

How to manage change within your team

What To Do To Help Your Team Adapt To Changes

  1. Consider Bringing in Help.

Going it alone might make the process of change more difficult than it should be for you as a leader. If you can bring in a company or consultant who specializes in transitions and corporate or team change they might give you great direction on how to proceed while also supporting you in taking the necessary actions with your team.

  1. Be Patient, But Persistent.

Remember that not everyone will embrace this change at the same rate. Some team members are going to buy into the ideas very quickly. The majority of people will take a little longer, but not too long. Unfortunately, there is nearly always a small group of people who might take months or even years to fully adapt to the change being made.

No matter what, you can’t forget these employees as they are still a part of your team. They have experienced some form of change trauma, and that can be hard to recover from unless you are well supported and moved into the new system properly. Stand your ground on the fact that this change is both necessary and beneficial, but give them the time they need to see that for themselves as well. Don’t force anything on your employees that will make them feel rushed and uncomfortable.

  1. Demonstrate Why Change is Necessary.

Find something solid and visible that proves the need for the change which is being made. This might be something to do with one of your products, a video about the inefficiency, pictures of something which is going wrong in the company or for the consumer, or anything else. The point of this is to show your team what’s happening and why it’s bad for business.

Speak to your team logically and reasonably if you want a better chance at winning them over. During uncertain times, it’s good for team morale if the leader is doing a good job at presenting the evidence of a need for change while also showing the chosen solution to the problem.

  1. Practice Empathy.

Your team members will all be feeling differently about this upcoming or current change, and you MUST acknowledge those feelings as valid and respond to the concerns raised by employees. One way that some companies have achieved this is by hosting an anonymous forum for employee discussions about the changes which are taking place. A facilitator will host the forum and share with you whatever information is gained during that time. This allows you to accurately know what emotions and feelings your team is feeling and respond appropriately.

  1. Begin Making Changes Early.

If at all possible, start introducing small changes long before a final, larger change is made. This will give employees time to adapt to some of the new work practices rather than having them launch into an entirely new environment suddenly. If they begin to feel comfortable with the new changes you have implemented, then they will at least have something to hold onto which will not disappear when change comes.

  1. Be Honest and Open.

One of the single most important things you can do to ease your team through change and to help them buy in is to communicate openly and honestly. Honesty from a leader is always important, but change in the workplace tends to bring out the worst in employee-management relations. Many of your team members may feel as if trust has been broken, especially if there was any downsizing or layoffs during the change process.

Communicating openly and being honest with your team are the only ways to start building that trust back up and helping your team to come to terms with the new way of operating.

The Importance Of Good Leadership During Change

Not many leaders particularly enjoy implementing large changes in the workplace, as it is impossible to truly predict what you will be facing from your employees. However, good leadership is the only thing that can bring a team through the change management process without everything falling apart.

Closing Thoughts

In today’s dynamic business atmosphere, change is nearly inevitable for every company regardless of the industry. Change happens, but how you manage that change can make the difference between high rates of team acceptance and rates of rejection or rebellion. Choose to use the best practices and make your change management as smooth of a process as possible.



About Total Team Building

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate fun engaging experiential team building activities designed to enhance team culture, leadership, communication and collaboration. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you and your team contact us today.

Managers vs Leaders: Is There a Difference?

Running a Team: Managers Versus Leaders

The terms “manager” and “leader” used to be used interchangeably; however, in more recent years a difference in usage has developed for those separate terms. Managers are said to be responsible for maintaining operations, organising, and controlling short-term administrative duties. Leaders, on the other hand, are those who motivate people, think long term, and create new innovations by not following the status quo.

What separates these two roles in a team? Can a single person act as both of these? Here are a few of the main things that separate leaders and managers:

Managers vs Leaders Is There A Difference

What Are The Differences Between a Manager And a Leader? 

These listed differences are based off of general usage of the two terms in a business context and are not specific to any industry, organisation, or type of team.

  1. Managers are not necessarily responsible for the vision and goals of a team.

The main purpose of a managerial position is to maintain the current best practices in an organisation. This means that managers don’t have as much freedom to deviate based on what they believe are the best goals for the team. Leaders are the ones who sit down and think ahead to develop a vision for the team as well as goals to be reached by the team. These will be passed on to management to implement in most cases.

  1. Leaders tend to make individual plans rather than implementing those given to them.

A team leader has more control over what the team should be doing at any given time. Rather than taking plans from higher bosses and using those for their team, they will be the ones figuring out what the best course of action is and delegating tasks to team members.

  1. Managers are more reactive, leaders are proactive

Managers are in place to look at what’s going on in the business and choose the best response from their training and guidance. Leaders are expected to look ahead and change direction to navigate around any incoming obstacles.

  1. Leaders are required to problem solve, managers report problems or use set solutions.

Similarly to point number 3, good leaders require the ability to problem solve. They have to be able to adapt and adjust to the dynamic environment around them in order to find the absolute best way to solve a problem. Managers are more likely to be the ones who are reporting issues they are seeing and asking for a way to continue forward with solving the problem. This is partially because a manager may not have the same freedoms that a leader does in the way the team should be led.

  1. Managers choose the best strategy to use, leaders create new business strategies.

As a manager, you are trained in business strategy and taught about which responses are most appropriate for different situations. You do not necessarily come up with the strategy, but you are the one who is tasked with making sure it is implemented and followed. Leaders are those who will be taking the time to study the external and internal environments around the business and deciding in what ways the team can act in order to reach the goals most effectively.

  1. Leaders are knowledgeable in many areas, managers specialise in one or two.

Specialisation can be a big advantage for managers as they are mainly concerned with a few specific functions of the team. Leaders have to have a broader knowledge of all aspects of the team and the organisation as well as the industry so that they can perform their expected duties with excellence.

Managers vs Leaders Infographic

Your Leadership Style 

As an authority figure over your team, you have to periodically ask yourself this question: are you a leader or a manager? You don’t necessarily have to fit into all of the normal roles of either and can easily adapt characteristics of both a leader and a manager at different points in your career and depending on the needs of your team.

Leadership is not a static thing. It must be fluid and ever-changing as the circumstances of your business change. Learn to take on the necessary traits of both a manager and a leader whenever they are needed so that you can bring the best out of your team at all times.



About Total Team Building

Total Team Building specialise in teams…we facilitate fun engaging experiential team building activities designed to enhance leadership, communication and collaboration. For more information about how Total Team Building can help you and your team contact us today.