Attention Team Managers: Lead By Example In 2017

Posted: Dec 29 2016

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The last quarter of any year is always a busy one. Tying up loose ends on projects, planning for the next 12 months that are soon on their way, catching up with clients and suppliers before shutdown - even cleaning out the office (physically and digitally) to make room for next year's bout of (unintentional) hoarding.

Forgive the clichés, but many of us will be all too familiar with the end of year routine. Each year closes with a Christmas bash; a couldn't-top-it-if-they-tried affair, complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a corporate Christmas event. This soiree is promptly followed by a Monday morning pep talk about how the next year is going to kick off with a bang and how, come 1st January, everyone needs to be ready to hit the ground running. Big events and big ideas, but often not realised to their full potential.

It is so easy to get caught up in the winding down and shutting off that we don't always think about how to start the New Year in the way we said we would, which can lead to a lack of motivation throughout January. So, why not make 2017 different? Get the whole management team involved and make it a year to rememberleading by example. Your team, department and company will thank you for it.

Here are just a few simple ways to lead by example in 2017:

Communicate Better

Communication is the cornerstone of any community, including those at work. You might be surprised to learn just how bad teams across the country are at communicating amongst themselves and in the workplace.

Poor communication choices are also a problem, especially when differing personalities are thrown together; opposing opinions can turn into arguments, passive aggressive comments fester and build walls, and those with some of the best ideas are too scared of rocking the boat to pipe up.

Lead by example and show those around you how workplace communication should be. Say things openly, honestly and fairly in meetings. Greet those you see in the hallway. Make an effort to speak face to face, or at least on the phone, as well as via email. These little things go a long way for opening up communication channels.

Learn new skills, and encourage others to do the same

Look to learn a new skill or hone an existing one. You will find the experience rewarding, and if you can, encourage others to do the same. It could be complimenting them on something they do well and suggesting a course or project they can get involved with to improve or showcase their ability. It could be asking others for help with one of your own weaknesses, or simply putting the idea out there that a team development day or even a more specific course is an option.

Be a poster child for personal and professional development

If you want your team to be proactive about their personal and professional development, you need to show them that pushing their boundaries is fun as well as rewarding. Be the one to volunteer for things, talk about what you learnt in last week's workshop and let them know that there are fun ways to develop.

Whether that is an upcoming workshop you're looking forward to signing up to, a corporate fun day, or how you set yourself personal and professional challenges to overcome each quarter. People need to see that you can walk the walk too.


Leading by example when it comes to professional development is one thing, but showing the team how it is done at team building events is something quite different. Professional development workshops benefit you directly at work. Many have misconceptions about team building days, so it is down to you to convince your team otherwise. 

Make sure you are an active participant in team building activities, rally the troops, make sure you appeal to individuals' expectations (if they want fun, show them how fun the new experiences can be; if they are goal-oriented, challenge them to a little friendly competition; if they prefer to keep work and play separate, make sure they know the value of a strong team and the opportunity to work on weaknesses and strengthen skill sets).

There are many ways that you can lead by example in the workplace. For now, though, as things start winding down, take the time to plan ways you can kick 2017 off with a bang. Support your new on the job attitude by speaking to one of our event consultants to see what kind of activities would benefit your team for the upcoming year.

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