How To Be A Good Young Team Leader
First-hand advice from a young Fin-tech manager.
Caring about your team, trusting them, and knowing the work first hand will help you be a better team leader even if you are new to this role.
My manager Emily is the youngest manager in the history of a leading UK fin-tech company, and when I asked her, what would I need to do to be a good leader when my time comes? She shared with me these concepts.
If they helped her to be trusted with a team of more than 15 people of all ages before turning 25, I’m sure they will be useful to you too.
Trust your team
You have to assume positive intentions on every action and give them all of your trust unless proven otherwise.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”– Ernest Hemingway
You can indirectly show your trust and gain theirs back by doing this:
- Delegating: when you delegate you show that you care about their development, you also get to have a look at who wants more responsibilities and who is good as it is.
- Caring: Learn about how every team member feels about workload, tasks and also emotionally within the organization.
- Asking for feedback: As a leader, you will be asked to make decisions on behalf of your team. Make sure you include them by encouraging constant feedback. This will give you insights on how things work for on the inside and help you make better-informed decisions.
Delegating, caring and asking for feedback are a few of the things that will show your team that you trust them and that you work for them as much as they work for you.
Understand the work
Try to know how to do the most processes and tasks that each member of your team does, or at least have an overall knowledge.
This will help you:
- Make better-informed decisions on behalf of your team.
- Answer both higher managers and internal questions about them.
- Improve the recruitment for new team members first hand.
- Assess their knowledge of the tasks they perform.
This will help you not only to answer the most questions from your own bosses but also to be a better-informed leader for your team.
Lead with empathy
You are in charge of making your team deliver the most possible for the company, but that doesn´t mean that you have to be a villain to make things work. You have been in their place before, so consider their situations when asking for things to be done.
Think about how you communicate new projects and processes according to how busy they are and be clear on what will be expected from them, with timeframes and considering their current circumstances.
Put yourself in their place, be ready to answer possible questions about how this new agenda will affect them and be considered, at the end of the day you have been there and would have wanted your boss to treat you like an equal.
Your team needs a manager who listens to them and is there to support them and lead them at all times needed.
They need you there when:
- A mistake is made. They have to be comfortable that you will be a positive agent of change, who will take a look at the situation, not blaming but looking for a solution.
- Changes are happening in the company/industry. They will look for you to guide them in what measures will be taken and how these will affect them.
- Things go well. Everybody likes being recognised, bonuses, rewards, even a pat in the back go a long way to remember them that you are grateful for their hard work.
Support them and have their back through good, bad and challenging times. Remember not to judge but to encourage learning from mistakes and delivering on the promises you make.
Communication can make or break your career, you have to be able to be clear to both your managers and your team.
It goes beyond active listening and responding accurately, including:
- Sharing valuable information.
- Asking intelligent questions.
- Requesting input and new ideas on how to do things.
- Clarifying misunderstandings and managing difficult situations.
- Giving clear achievable goals.
- Motivating and inspiring.
Employees value honesty, both good and bad needs to be told as it is to keep clean air and to open the gates to a better understanding.
Be your best self
If you are a completely different person at work than you are outside, people won´t be able to see YOU. Instead of putting a Venetian mask, use your personality to your benefit by just adapting it to a work situation.
- If you are more relationship-oriented, set your standards and stand by them. Being empathetic will give you more room to be direct in both good and bad situations. Don’t neglect the businesses goals and expectations.
- On the other hand, if you tend to be results-oriented, pay special attention on how you communicate, focusing on results doesn't mean you need to be the grinch, give some room for people to distend and they will value it and go back to work more motivated to achieve shared goals.
Find your own way to a balance between empathy and results and you will increase your chances of having a high performing team that care for each other.
To sum up
- Trust your team
- Know the job
- Lead with empathy
- Communicate effectively
- Be reliable
- Know yourself
“Leadership is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.” -Joanne Ciulla
Trust your team and they will trust you back, let them know how their day to day tasks make a difference for the future of the business, know the work they are doing and encourage their development by communicating effectively.
Keep learning and evolving, your career -like your life- is a never-ending learning path.
“The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
- Padmasree Warrior
Hi there my name is Inti and I am beginning a path in writing.
If you liked this or have any kind of feedback, I would love to read it in the comments.
You can follow me for more, also connect with me.
Have a lovely day.