Stepping into a leadership role can be nerve-wracking. It’s understandable because an established team is already there and they have ways of working. You need to prove yourself a strong leader from the get-go otherwise respect goes out the window. Fortunately, taking over from a retiring colleague is easier than you think.
So, here are a few tips you could use to make your captaincy transition successful.
Get to Know the Team and the Existing Dynamics
Every team has a routine or way of working and it’s partly down to the former team leader. When you’re taking over from a colleague, you need to establish how things run. So, it’s important to take a step back and view the inner workings of the team. You also need to get to know the team to have a successful leadership takeover.
So, have an initial meet and greet and learn the dynamics of the team. Find out weaknesses, strengths, and where the team could excel. It will make the transition easier for you and the team.
Set Clear Boundaries
Certain behaviors and mindsets should not be allowed in the workplace; unfortunately, they may have been allowed to flourish under the old team leader. Your job, however, is to stamp it out. Successful leadership is about setting clear boundaries for all team members and setting a good example.
For instance, innocent banter (jokes) between colleagues is acceptable as long as it doesn’t disrupt work or cause offense. If you, however, act inappropriately towards a colleague (innocently or otherwise) that loses respect. It’s not acceptable. Set boundaries and adhere to them because that’s the mark of your piloting.
Allow for An Adjustment Period
New leadership brings nerves to all, especially those close to the former team leader. Some members might find it difficult to adjust to a new manager or rules. So, while you do have to be firm, you also need to allow for a period of adjustment. Everyone is finding their feet and will test the waters, so be patient but firm.
Have an ‘Open Door’ Policy
A leader is someone people respect and feel comfortable approaching. If you’re not hospitable to colleagues, they’re unlikely to follow the rules you set. Having an ‘open door’ policy can be smart as it shows your leadership skills. For example, your colleagues should feel safe to talk to you and report any abuse or concerns anonymously. You can investigate and deal with the problem at an early stage and prevent it from escalating further.
It’s the same when a colleague has genuine concerns about matters outside of work. They should be able to approach you. It can sometimes help and remember, good leadership is about having a productive and happy team.
Good captainship Makes a Team Productiver
Taking over as team leader is never easy. You are filling someone else’s shoes and it can be a tough role. Fortunately, it’s easier than it sounds. For instance, get to know your team, allow for an adjustment period, have an ‘open door’ policy, and set boundaries. It will allow you to showcase your leadership qualities and create a happy team.