How To Effectively Manage Egos Within Your Team
Behind every successful leader is a team of smart, competent and intelligent individuals. Hence, to be a successful, result-oriented leader you need to develop a team of talented, smart and intelligent people around you. A team that can overcome enormous challenges and has the ability to produce extraordinary output. A team of creative and innovative thinkers who facilitate the business’s growth. But could you possibly have created a team of too many smart people and are having a hard time being able to manage egos?
Talented individuals fuel off of recognition. They want to be in the spotlight and their achievements to be celebrated. And why not! They’re talented and smart and should be considered as role models for everyone else. But if your team comprises of mainly such smart and talented individuals, you may just find yourself struggling to avoid their egos rubbing each other the wrong way. They’ll offer brilliant ideas, however, conflicts may arise in the form of “who’s got the better solution”. When each of them is gunning for the top spot in terms of recognition, how easy would it be for you to decipher whose contributions are more significant?
Looking at things from one angle, you’re a fortunate leader to have a team of creative and talented problem solvers who are aligned to the team’s goals. However, unless you’re able to control and manage egos, you’ll have disruptions within your team that’ll hamper the achievement of goals.
To avoid this, here are a few suggestions:
1. Give Each Of Them Your Time
Smart and talented people need constant reassurance and attention (generally speaking of course). As their leader you need to take time off to spend quality one-on-one time with them so they feel valued. Tell them how much you appreciate their contributions and their drive to achieve goals. Though, as a caution, don’t inflate their egos so much that they feel superior to other team members. Just pacify their egos enough for them to feel you know their worth.
2. The Team’s Goals Are Above All Else
Your team members’ personal achievements are great to ensure everyone’s doing their part. There are several occasions you sit with them to discuss these and pat them on their backs to show how much you appreciate their hard work. But as a leader, it’s equally important that you gather your team and discuss the overall team’s goals as well. After all, each individual’s contribution adds up to the bigger picture that the team collectively is aiming for. It’s something that not only you as their leader are aware of, but they too should be made to understand. Above personal and individual achievements are the goals of the team.
3. Give Them Big Challenges
Smart people tend to get bored easily and quite frequently as well. This can be a catalyst to friction and confrontation if their energy isn’t utilized productively. If you really want to keep your talented team busy and prevent them from going head on with each other, give them enormous challenges and goals. Have them work on challenges that’ll keep them engaged for a long duration and one which will truly test their skills and knowledge.
4. Remind Them You’re Still The Boss
Sure they’re talented and smart, but they aren’t you – i.e. the leader of the team. The talent in your team may be a group of overachievers who someday will lead their own teams, but today, they’re part of your team. It doesn’t hurt to remind them that you’re still responsible for the team and that you have their backs when things get tough. But ultimately, if the team is falling short of its collective goals, then it’s your neck on the line and the entire team that’s responsible. So even if a few of your stars are super performers, it’s irrelevant if the team isn’t overall performing. And you, as their boss, will make sure they all perform.
You’re truly a fortunate leader if you have a team of exceptionally talented people. But if these individuals aren’t working collectively it could end up being a misfortune. As their leader you need to make sure they aren’t dwelling in the realm of destructive arrogance, and instead are utilizing their confidence and talent constructively. Remember to engage your team, and do it frequently. If you’re able do these, you’ll find it easier to manage egos within your team.
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