Discussing the main responsibilities of a team leader, one may mention that its role is different from the manager who organizes the work of a team member. In particular, the primary goal of a team leader is to motivate the team and guide it towards achieving a particular objective. Meanwhile, on every project, there is also a project manager who assures the organizational aspects and sets the goals; project managers cooperate with a team leader as a more technically proficient person who can explain how to achieve specific goals, assess the capabilities of the team, and tell what resources are required to achieve the results. In this regard, it is vital to understand the characteristics that are needed to become an effective team leader and what the responsibilities are in this role.
The main qualities of a team leader
Unlike a manager, a team leader should be able to find the right balance between the informal and professional relationships between the team members. Namely, an exceptional team leader can relate to the team members, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and provide the motivation that would fit the team the most. For instance, emotional intelligence and communication skills are crucial for a team leader because these traits allow them to effectively understand the team, assign tasks, and create the conditions that will facilitate effective performance for people. In terms of leadership, multiple traits affect the way one can motivate people. However, a team leader should also possess the problem-solving skills and be decisive to show the team the capabilities to deal with issues and ambitions to face new challenges. Lastly, and probably the essential aspect of every team leader is technical proficiency. Every team member should be able to address a team leader with the issues they had encountered during the development. Meanwhile, a team leader is responsible for helping to solve the technical tasks and helping the teammates to overcome them.
The main job a team leader
Besides the informal responsibilities of a team leader, like maintaining a productive atmosphere within a team and assuring that every member is aware of its responsibilities, a team leader can resolve complicated organizational and leadership tasks. For instance, every team leader faces with the following responsibilities and should be able to perform them effectively:
- Problem solving. A team leader should have the knowledge and skills to resolve the issues that have occurred on the way to achieving a goal. A great team leader can prioritize the responsibilities and decide how to effectively allocate the resources to resolve a problem or find the best solution.
- Delegating. A team leader can’t do everything and maintain great productivity. Thus, a team leader should be able to delegate tasks to other team members properly. After all, a leader’s trust encourages the team members’ responsibility and productivity.
- Representing a team. A team leader presents the accomplishments of a team to the higher management and other stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to convey how well a team performs, what should be improved, and what a team needs to achieve better results.
- Establishing communication. Every team member should be able to clearly communicate within a team and with a leader to explain progress, ask for advice, and report issues. A team leader should foster a trusting relationship between team members and involve the whole team in informal and formal meetings more often.
- Communicating updates. Besides representing a team, a team leader also represents the higher management and should provide the updates or requirements that are expected from a team. The goal of an awesome team leader is to convey the updates to the team and explain in detail why they are needed and how they can improve the outcomes.
- Providing feedback. Telling team members how they perform and what should be improved are the key elements of developing their skills and boosting morale. The motivation to perform better or receiving praise influences team members to become better and inform them that they are making an important contribution to the project. The HR department and project management are also involved in providing feedback to an employee in the form of a performance review. Nevertheless, a team leader is the one who provides feedback in specific situations and helps to create a performance review because they closely cooperate with team members and know their weak and strong sides.
- Workload management. Avoiding burnout is one the most important measures to maintain the productivity and motivation of a team member on a high level. A team leader is responsible for asking team members whether they feel capable of dealing with the scope of work or if the workload is appropriate. In such cases, constant communication with the members is the key to understanding how to properly manage and effectively distribute the workload within the timeframes or among other team members. Additionally, a team leader closely cooperates with a project manager to establish how the workload can be distributed more effectively (moving deadlines, reassigning tasks, and providing additional resources).
All in all, the primary job of a team leader is to motivate and support the team member on the way to achieving the goals. Nevertheless, the workflow of a team leader involves many other responsibilities that facilitate the effective functioning and performance of a team. Therefore, the team members with an exceptional leader achieve the needed results and become better as professionals.