So how do you go about winning this trust and getting everyone in the team believing in you? It doesn’t have to be a hugely complex issue if you follow these pieces of advice.
Lead By Example
Everyone wants to see their boss lead by example. This is something which applies equally in any type of work and you certainly shouldn’t expect your project team to think any differently. You will want to give them some freedom and the chance to be creative but at the end of the day you are project leader and the person they will turn to for help and support. What you definitely don’t want to do is leave anyone floundering on their own without knowing what to do next. As the project leader everything you do will be seen as important by your team members, especially if they are new to this kind of working environment. Trying to show them how to behave in a professionally run project is a lot easier if you lead by example rather than attempt to talk them through it.
Show Trust in Others
If you want people to trust you then you need to trust them. Simple really, isn’t it? In the context of a project this means having faith in your team to let them get on with things without hovering over them all day long. This can be difficult to do if you are a hands-on kind of a person but it needs to be done for the good of the team. Of course, you need to be sure that they know what is needed before they get started and that they give you regular status updates so that you know that they are still on track. Your team will be glad to have a leader who trusts them enough to let them get on with their work.
Get Things Right
No one can get everything right all of the time but your time will want to look on you as the kind of project leader who can be counted on to not make many mistakes. You are probably in the role because you are the best person for the job, so hopefully this point won’t be something you need to worry about too much. However, if you start to doubt your own ability this can show in the way you deal with the other team members. It is, therefore, important that you keep you work to a high standard and let everyone else see that you are the best project leader for them.
Get Everyone Involved
Projects are exciting pieces of work and no doubt everyone in the team will want to get involved. This is great news for you, unless you are a control freak who wants to stay on top of everything. There is no place in a project for this kind of manager though, as the whole team needs to get involved in the work. This should actually be an enjoyable part of the role, as you get the chance to mentor junior team members and see them progress. It is a great feeling to see how your team grows in confidence and skill levels over time and know that you have played a big part in this simply by giving them the chance to get stuck in and learn on the job.
Handle the Responsibilities
One final point to keep in mind is that the buck stops with you. This can be hard to get used to if you don’t have a background as the leader of a piece of work. However, as a project manager you will find that you need to take the good with the bad. Angry stakeholders, slipped milestones and emerging risks are some of the things you will need to handle. Your team will have a lot more respect for you if you deal with these issues without trying to pass the blame onto them or skip your duties. There is a time to delegate and a time to take the work on yourself. Over time you will learn how to judge these moments but at the start of your project leader career you will want to be extra careful not to appear to be passing your difficult tasks onto other team members.
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