Are you considering making the transfer to a team leader role? Or are you just curious as to the qualities of a good team leader? It’s rather different to a pure technical role - different skills are involved and not everyone is able to successfully make the change from a technical role into a team leader. Nevertheless, having or building on a few of the skills below will help.

Good Communication

Good team leaders understand how to talk properly. Communication isn’t just about chatting - it’s about listening, writing, and using non-verbal methods of communication including body language. Team leaders should be able to communicate with different varieties of people - their managers, people in their teams, and other team managers in the business or project.

Keeping Calm Under Pressure

If I were to pick one answer to the question, “What makes a good team leader?”, it would be this point. Just about the most important skills to have as a team leader is the ability to keep calm under pressure. Deadlines are a part of IT careers. Pressure out of your team, other teams and your boss to get things done and work well is frequent. It’s not easy to stay calm under pressure, or when things go wrong, but it’s a significant skill to have, and something that team managers really need to be able to do.

Taking Responsibility For Their Actions

Good team leaders don’t shift responsibility for their slipups onto others. They take responsibility for their actions. Should they make a mistake, they don’t hide from it, they acknowledge it and decide how it can be fixed. It’s something which people should really be doing from in the beginning in their career, but it’s a thing that team leaders especially have to be able to do.

Acknowledge Good Work From Others

For your team to have trust and respect in you, they need to feel as though they are part of the team. A way of achieving this is to always acknowledge the great work that your team members do. This contains everything from public praise when a substantial milestone is reached, such as a project delivery, or small things like process enhancements or bug resolutions, where a simple “thanks” or “good work” will be enough.

Keeping the team happy can keep them productive and positive, and as a consequence, make you look like a good team manager at the same time!

Being Able To Convince Others

One other skill in response to what makes a good team leader is being able to convince others. This is part of the role of a team manager, and can be used in a valuable way of getting things done. You will need to convince people that a particular strategy is the best one, persuade other managers of your resourcing or budget desires, and convince people of the benefits of your team or projects. This is something you can exercise and enhance as your career progresses, and it’s a good thing for team manages, or potential team managers, to learn.

Ability To Make Decisions

Leading a team includes many things, such as the requirement to make decisions. To turn into a good team leader, you need to be able to choose a plan to take in various circumstances. Do this by taking in the facts, judging the results and consequences (both positive and negative), and choose an option. Most of all, stick to it - don’t change your mind midway through, unless new information comes along that forces you to. This is also another skill you could be learning and increasing as your career develops.

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