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The Globe and Mail

Take a hands-off approach to managing your team

The concept of "managing your team" is not intuitive for many managers, and for some it even cuts against the grain of what they think they should do as bosses, says Harvard Business Review.

"A high-functioning team can't be created by decree. Real teams - ones that do collective work - perform well not when the boss demands it, but when their colleagues expect it.

Common purpose

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Your job as a team leader is not to direct the work of individual members, but to bring the group together around a common purpose and agreed upon goals. Then use the social bonds between members to influence their behaviour.

Take a step back

Encourage members to work hard not as a way to please you, but so that they don't let everyone else down. If a team member fails to perform, don't jump in right away. Let the other members correct him and give him feedback.


This indirect approach is hard for some leaders, especially those who like direct control, but ultimately your people will perform better when they feel they're part of a team."

- Today's management tip was adapted from "Good Managers Lead Through a Team" by Linda Hill and Kent Lineback.

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