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Mistakes to Avoid When Taking Over a Team November 19, 2015

Posted by TelUS Consulting Services in Job Opportunities.

Taking over as the leader of a team is daunting. Your team members are used to how their previous leader liked to do things, and adjusting their habits can be a challenge. The team’s response to your new processes or style can make you feel a little like the evil stepmother who’s stepped into their formerly happy lives. Your team was once someone else’s team. They’ve developed habits in response to the preferences of the previous leader. But it’s important to avoid the most common mistakes that new leaders make when trying to ease the transition:

  • Being a friend rather than a leader. Investing too much energy in befriending the team can confuse the power relationship. Most teams want clear, confident leadership.
  • Expressing frustration with the quality of the team. What team members are good at is a reflection of what the previous leader expected of them. If your expectations are different, you need to help the team make that shift.
  • Attempting to force trust too quickly. Until team members have had time to see how you handle uncomfortable topics too much candor will do more harm than good. Let trust build over time.
  • Share your story and your owner’s manual. Team members will appreciate you sharing your backstory and helping them understand the evolution of your preferences and idiosyncrasies.
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