Raising Teams – “I’m not your mother.”

Raising Teams – “I’m not your mother.”

As a hiring manager, you probably imagined yourself at the head of a productive team of all stars. You would soon be known as the best manager ever as your team dominated all others in the organization. We’ve all been there.

The reality however, is somewhat different. You’re actually managing a group of individuals who have very different needs, different wants, and who have different triggers. One size doesn’t fit all, and emotions often get in the way. Being a hiring manager is more like wading through a pit of screaming toddlers as opposed to a synchronized group of athletes. You’re desperate for them to get up and running, but the process is long and not always simple. It’s an art form AND a science.

We speak to managers every single day; those that have done their fair share of hiring, firing, and the leading in between. We collected their golden nuggets of advice, compiled them into one blog, and we’re throwing it out to you. Hopefully at least one tidbit will stick with you.

It’s never about you

As a manager, you’re the coach, the playmaker, the agony aunt, judge and jury. You have many roles to play, but at no point is it about you. It’s always about your team, first and foremost. Put them first. Listen to them first before you start talking. Make sure they’re okay before you are.

As a manager, you’re the coach, the playmaker, the agony aunt, judge and jury.Click To Tweet

Team Building

Telling your team you’re about to engage in teambuilding activities is usually a cue for eye-rolling and a barrage of messages on the group chat (that you’re obviously not a part of), as sarcastic remarks about campfires and “Kumbaya” moments start flying round. But it doesn’t have to be like that, and your team don’t have to start sharing their deepest fears and most embarrassing moments. It can be cringe worthy for everyone involved. But what you can do is create space and time for teambuilding to happen naturally. It could be volunteering, weekly sports games, social events or shared meals. Your team will begin to knit instinctively, and you don’t have to force it.

Emotional Intelligence

This doesn’t mean you need to keep a box of tissues on your desk for your crying team members, and nor do you have to have a degree in psychology. But having an awareness of your team’s emotions will allow you to offer advice, motivation, and more importantly, show your team you’re not just squeezing results from them, but that you care about who they are as individuals.

Non-work communication

Communication is the most successful factor of high performing teams, and having a team that can talk outside the parameters of business is a great indicator of this. Set up and foster group chats in which you can tell jokes (non-offensive ones of course), share personal stories, as well as discuss work-related matters.

Always Follow Through

If you said you were going to do it, make sure you do it. Your team will follow you to hell and back, if they trust you and believe you. Once that is lost, it’s a slippery slope downhill, so make sure you’re always following through.

If you said you were going to do it, make sure you do it.Click To Tweet

You’re Not Their Mother

While you need to care about your team and nurture them, you must learn to cut the apron strings and let them flex into their roles. There will be times they mess up and make mistakes, but sometimes your job will be to sit quietly and let that happen. It will build accountability and trust within your team. It will show them that they have the autonomy to forge their own careers and grow professionally.

Be Aware

The way you work, the things you do, and what you say will always affect the people you lead. You’re being watched constantly, and they remember everything. For example, if you spend your lunch break complaining about being broke, your team won’t care because fundamentally they know you’re getting paid more, and it demotivates them to work hard, or aspire to positions of leadership. They clock everything.


It’s solely your responsibility to celebrate the good things that happen, no matter how small. Get into the habit of shouting about their success and constantly building them up.

It’s solely your responsibility to celebrate the good things that happen, no matter how small.Click To Tweet

No one said it was easy, but a well performing team that can untie and work well together is magic in motion. It’s worth every drop of sweat you’ll put in.

Business photograph designed by Jcomp – Freepik.com

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