I’ve Just Become a Team Leader… What Next?
You’ve worked hard at your job, and your manager is impressed with the work you have been putting in. So much so, that they have decided to promote you to team leader.
Moving forward, you’ll be working a lot more closely with your manager. Not only will you be helping them execute the company vision, but also inspiring your team to be the best version of themselves they can be.
If you’re new to team leadership, you may be wondering what you need to do. After all, not only do you have to look after your own workload, but the workload of your team too!
Here is our guide to navigating the world of team leadership and how you can become an effective and efficient leader.
What is the difference between a team leader and a manager?
When you become a team leader, you take on a new range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can put you well on your way to a management role in the future if you choose to.
The key differentiation between a manager and a team leader is that a team leader is more forward-thinking. While a manager is more interested in running a team in line with a company’s guidelines and rules, a team leader looks for new and innovative ways for the team to solve problems.
This makes creativity and problem-solving vital skills for a team leader to have. More on this later.
Although team leaders are responsible for the day-to-day running of a department, they are usually not responsible for performance reviews and disciplinary issues. The specific responsibilities will vary from company to company though, so be sure to check your new job description.
How to become a great team leader
Now you know what a team leader is, you will want to know how to carry out the role to the best of your ability.
Here are our five top tips for becoming a brilliant team leader.
1. Find a mentor
Working with a mentor will help identify your goals and how you can achieve them. Ideally it will be someone with experience in your industry, who is working (or has worked) as a team leader.
Ask if there is someone in the workplace that you can connect with or alternatively, reach out to people in your network. Using LinkedIn can be a great way to do this.
2. Fine-tune your soft skills
Soft skills are people skills that you learn along the course of your career. You will use them a lot in your new role as a team leader.
Some of the soft skills that will be of benefit to you include:
- Communication (both verbal and written)
- Creative thinking
- Conflict resolution
You will not only need to know how to solve problems, but deal with your colleagues too. You will be the one that will need to take charge if they are struggling with their work or not getting on with each other!
The good news is that you will improve on your soft skills when you start in your team leadership role. If you need a little extra help, there are courses you can take. You can also join clubs and take classes.
3. Get to know your team
As a team leader, you’ll be working hard to inspire your team and help them achieve their objectives. You’ll also be the one that will advocate for them if anything goes wrong.
It’s essential to know how your team works.
- What are their strengths?
- What are their weaknesses?
- How do they best learn new things?
- What are their relationships like with other people on the team?
- What are their ultimate goals in the workplace?
- What motivates them?
Take the time to listen to each of them and gain their trust.
Don’t forget to ask the same questions of your manager too! You’ll now be working with them a lot more closely, so it’s important to know their likes and dislikes.
4. Take a course
There are lots of great courses that you can take when you are making the leap into team leadership. These courses will not only give you direction and guidance, but also help boost your confidence.
The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) provides qualifications for managers and team leaders. These qualifications are vocation-based, meaning that you can draw on your experience to complete the modules. You can also choose specific modules to create a qualification that is customised to your particular role.
ITonlinelearning offer a range of CMI qualifications, including:
• CMI Level 2 Award in Team Leading
• CMI Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading
• CMI Level 2 Diploma in Team Leading
• CMI Level 3 Award in Principles of Management and Leadership
• CMI Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Management and Leadership
• CMI Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Management and Leadership
5. Finally… don’t worry!
Your manager promoted you to team leader because they are impressed with the high-quality work with you do, as well as your attitude. They wouldn’t have promoted you if they didn’t think you could do it.
Enjoy your new position, take the time to connect with your colleagues and don’t be afraid to ask any questions if you are unsure. After all, your manager will have been in a similar team leadership role themselves in the past.
As cheesy as it might sound, believe in yourself, and your team will believe in you.
Looking for a team leadership qualification? ITonlinelearning is here to help
At ITonlinelearning, we help aspiring team leaders get the qualifications they need to grow in their careers.
All of our accreditations are carried out online, meaning that you can fit learning around your work and home life.