Tag: team

What Are Your First Steps As A Team Leader?

~Guest Post~

team leader

You got hired when they saw something in you. You’ve done everything to meet and exceed expectations. You’ve proven beyond a doubt to deliver profits and you work great with everyone. They’ve now called you into an office, where instead of reprimanding you, they are highly praising you for your work. They inform you that since you are a great team player, you are going to be promoted to team leader.

A team leader is someone who advises, counsels, or directs a group of individuals towards the purpose of achieving a common goal. With this new position of team leader comes a nice bonus and a raise along with a ton more responsibility. You’re excited about it and know you want to do your best and be your best. What you didn’t encounter was the fact that you are no longer the co-worker of your team members, but now you are their leader and it puts you into a whole new position with them. These are some steps to set yourself up for success.

As you read through, ask yourself one question, is it better to be feared or respected?

Introducing Yourself As Team Leader

Some of your team is going to be happy for you, some of your team is going to be jealous of you, and some of your team is going to outright hate you because you got the position and they did not. You need to establish that you are here to ensure the company continues to function, and despite the fact that you are in a new position should not take away or give your team any right to disrespect you. You are leading them and on a mission to ensure your company remains profitable.

Right off the bat, you should understand who has an issue with you and clear up the nonsense, as a non-functioning member who is not on board with you is going to make your company question why they made you a team leader in the first place. Clear up any communication, miscommunication, and earn the respect of your team by calling a meeting to ensure everyone knows what your new position is and what your responsibilities are.

If you are not sure yourself, you will need to speak with your Human Resources department to ask any questions about your new responsibilities.

You Are A Team Leader, Not (only) A Team Friend

Don’t get me wrong, you are absolutely going to try and be friendly towards your team, but there is a thin line between friendship and being a leader to your team. While you will be friendly, have an open-door policy with your team, and always be willing to listen to your team, you are still a leader that is in charge of a team.

Outside of work hours, you may certainly be friends with your team, though you may want to establish boundaries early. There is no way you want to be caught drunk with a team member of yours recording you on their cell phone and then showing the higher bosses or HR what you look like when you’re drunk. Should you ever hang out with your co-workers, while you can trust them, always hold back the full trust, and ensure you remain proper and responsible in their presence. If you know your limits on alcohol, do not exceed or even if you can, avoid it altogether.

Your team is a group of human beings who you are now managing. Your relationship with your team is to ensure they remain the most valuable and resourceful assets for your company. After all, your company chose you to be the leader.

Respect Your Team and They Will Respect You

It is very easy to let the newfound position of power go to your head. Most supervisors, managers, and bosses are hardly good leaders and most of them are not required to even take a course on being a leader. They usually got their position because they put on a great show from the beginning and earned it, but somehow, became more relaxed or changed once they saw the new paycheck and were given more direction and power over the entire team.

Communication is always going to be your key with your team. With your new position, you are probably no longer following your old list of things to do but now you have a new list of things to do that requires you to utilize certain team members to their fullest extent.

When you begin to think like a team, you will also begin to act like a team. To get your team to respect you, you need to not only get to know your team, but come up with challenges that help them learn new things, acquire new skills, and express their talents.

Do not buy your team’s respect. While it is certainly okay to bring in donuts and coffee or even pizza once in a while to celebrate the latest success of an assignment from a client, you should never pay anyone to like you. Respect is earned, not bought.

Knowing Your Team

As comes with the territory of communication, you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of team members. There are some people who are never going to turn weakness into strengths and that is okay. Try where you must, but assign the proper strengths to where they are best utilized. Your company does not care about how you make it happen. They are about the results.

Setting up an activity once a week that allows you and your team to work on a few hours assignment that allows your team members to get to know each other, communicate, and have fun together while overcoming the challenge together will allow you to see their strengths, know their weaknesses, and learn how they work together and act together as well as function as a team together.

Trusting Your Team To Complete The Mission

As you are there to be a team leader, you are there to be their leader. Dress properly. Carry yourself well. Never be afraid of communicating with your team. Do not call them out and it is far better to be respected than feared. When you are feared, your team will only do things to please you to get you to go away. Trust your team to do what they need to do. Give them some leeway and train them to function somewhat without you, as you do not want to be micromanaging your team, watching over their shoulders, and basically letting them see that you really don’t trust them.

Work together with your team to drill the idea of being a team together to ensure you can complete the goals of your company in a timely manner. A good leader knows his team wants to work and wants to ensure not only they look good, but their team leader looks great as well. They are representing you and you are representing them. If you are not syncing up, then communicate and start thinking of each other as family because honestly, you see your team probably even more than you actually see your family.

You’ve done it, you’re a team leader. Now you have the steps to act like one. In your spare time, read up on being a good leader and what good leadership is, and you’ll not only earn the respect of your team, but you’ll continue to show your company why they made a great choice in choosing you as the team leader.

Read more from Matthew Gates at https://confessionsoftheprofessions.com

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IT support technician : 8 reasons why this job is cool

Working in a service center seems scary and not very cool. But I think this job is underrated. And I have 8 reasons why being an IT support technician is really cool!

1. As an IT support technician, you get to do interesting deeds every single work day

Yes, that’s true. With every call you take, you help someone; when a customer calls the service desk, he/she has an issue and the technician helps solving it. Imagine that someone has to go in a meeting in 20 minutes and needs to print something but the printer doesn’t work properly. In cases like these, he/she calls the IT support and knows that a technician will pick up, listen, understand and solve his/her issue. Well, maybe we don`t save children’s lives, but we save someone’s work day! We get to be heroes! How is this not cool?

2. You learn “patience”

Sometimes it happens to get calls from users who are not so “IT friendly” so you have to take your time to explain to him/her what causes the issue and what he/she has to do in order to solve it. Sometimes they might get mad because they’re pressured and you cannot help and feel like wanting to hang up on them, but after taking a deep breath you go on with the explanations over and over with patience and empathy until the user understands the situation and the solution.

IT Support

On these occasions users are often impatient, they expect us to be not only IT technician but even magicians and pretend to have a solution right away. In cases like this, it takes incredible patience in order to keep explaining why this and why that in multiple ways until it’s completely clear even to people that are not familiar with the IT language. And this is how we learn to be patient.

3. You are part of a team

Being part of a team is a big deal! Usually, we spend more time at work than at home, so the team is important. A team is a group of people doing the same job at you, so they understand you, they understand every emotion, every frustration, every situation that also you could face. Furthermore, they are always there for you to help you when needed. The great thing about a team is that usually each member has a field of knowledge that he/she masters, so every individual adds a great feat to the team making it better and stronger.

4. You have the knowledge, you have the power

Knowledge and information mean power and you have both of them when working as an IT support technician. Right from start and then throughout the course of project you get IT trainings starting with basic IT that will help you also outside of the job. Moreover, you are among the first ones to be informed about the advancement of technology as you are one of those who will offer support for it.

knowledge is power

5. You learn new skills

From technical skills to how to handle a call, you learn a lot of stuff. As the IT world continuously develops, so do your skills. Positive attitude, effective communication, empathy, deep knowledge of the perimeter you offer support for are only a few of the skills when working as an IT support technician.

6. Career evolution

You can get promoted. If you want it and if you are good at your job, you can get promotions. You can become technical referent, knowledge manager, trainer and even manager. Most of the service centers value and promote “internal first”, so if you really want to advance I think nothing can stop you.

7. Change and innovation

As an IT support technician, you get used to constant changes like: change of tools, change of perimeter, change of project, client change, schedule change and so on. Each and every one of them adds new skills, flexibility and creativity to your cv.

Also, you also keep up innovation and latest trends in technology.

8. You become a communication expert

puzzle; team

Active listening, leading the conversation, showing empathy, adapting your language are only a few sides of the communication that you get to develop and improve in this job. And this is big deal!

Between the customers, the managers and the team, communication is a key factor and a skill that’s worth being mentioned on this list.

As a conclusion, we can say that working in a service center is really cool and worth it!

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What makes a great team

According to the business dictionary, a team is “A group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.”

But what makes a team good? I consider my team a good one. The best I’ve ever had. The perfect team. And this is not due to the fact that my team members are perfect human beings (even if for me they are), but they are perfect team players.

They work well together, they are competitive, but at the same time they help each other and they rely on each other. During peaceful times they know how to have fun and play together; on the other hand, in challenging moments, they know how to take everything seriously and go the extra mile to achieve the best results.

One of our secrets is communication which is the common ground, a basic principle. When we have something to do, we present it, we discuss it and we exchange ideas. When dealing with difficult situations, we gather together, try to understand each other’s perspectives and eventually reach an accordance that satisfies everyone involved. If someone makes a mistake, here we go again: a discussion takes place. It’s how we build trust; it’s how we do things.

Together we do lots of extra activities that are not related to work such as games nights, karaoke nights or running sessions. This helps us to know each other better, to accept each other, to set or reset the expectations.

Not every day is full of rainbows, but having built strong basis right from the beginning and nurturing it every day, makes my team the best team ever.

We are in this together!

The text above was written before the covid-19 “episode”. Today, after 2 weeks and some days after starting the home office saga, I decided to re-write it.

The fact that my team is great was once again confirmed. We are working in a service center. This means that each member of my team has to take calls and help users remotely, offering IT support. Our customers are in home office as well, so it is a new situation for everyone involved in our activity.

The night before starting the activity in home office mode, I wasn’t able to sleep much. I felt a little lost, like if it was the day before starting a new project. Not because I didn`t trust my team, but I didn`t trust the technology. I wasn’t 100% sure that all our tools would work, that our home internet connection could handle the connection, that we could be able to communicate efficiently between the calls and so on. I had at least 10 negative scenarios disrupting my sleep. I wasn’t sure about how our work volumes would be impacted by the new state, about how people would react and the only thing that reassured me was the fact that I had no doubt about how amazing my team is.

The first week was a roller-coaster: we made a skype group, we paid attention to every little detail, we informed each other about breaks, customers, incidents and at the same time we shared opinions, emotions and fears related to the coronavirus. For the first time we worked separated, everyone from his place, but despite all the difficulties that appeared on our way we became closer than ever.

Don`t get me wrong, my team and I used to be close and do stuff together even before, outside of the office. But the new thing was that we were able to make a great job even while being apart. The idea is that when being part of a team, things get easier when your co-worker is physically near you. You can ask him/her for help, he comforts you when things get difficult, you joke around, you take lunch together and a lot of other little things that make life at work happier and more bearable. We used to take these things for granted and I guess we’ll value them much more when we’ll get back to normal. All this to say that in the last 2 weeks, our routine changed, but we remained united, we remained team players.

What makes a great team? In a great team, the team members have the same objectives and each one gives his/her best even when no one is watching. A great team has team players who understand each other, help each other, cover for each other.

A great team knows to face the unknown, the change. Change is never easy and this time we had to change everything from one day to another. Do you know what didn’t change? Let me tell you: the respect we have for each other, the trust, the common goal.

During these difficult times my colleagues managed to do their best and they’ve even outdone themselves. Without complaining, they proved each day that they are true professionals who can master our perimeter and they don’t let anything stop themselves from fulfilling their duties and even going beyond the expectations in order for things to be properly done and advance.

What makes a team great? I wish you could meet my team to see for yourself! A great team is made of beautiful human beings and I am beyond proud of mine!

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