Managing your Team

Published on 01 August 2019

Emmagen Carr and Elize Hattin sitting on couch talking

While a business may start out as a one-person venture, as it grows and expands, adding members to your team is vital for the survival of the business. As an entrepreneur, management skills and learning how to look after a team becomes vital. In a recent Hub Live, SmartHub Business Manager Elize Hattin sat down with Emmagen Carr to learn more about effectively managing a team in a business.

Emmagen is part of the Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML), a non-profit membership organisation dedicated to creating better leaders and managers for a better society. With a focus on all areas of management and leadership, the Institute has developed a complex competency framework, made up of 34 core competencies split into three pillars – managing the self, managing and leading others, and managing and leading the business. “To be able to successfully lead a team, you have to be able to manage and lead yourself first,” Emmagen explained.

Managing the self

As the manager, leader or owner of a business, the business relies upon you for success. Being able to manage yourself becomes a key skill, as how you react to things in both your personal and professional life can have an outcome on the business. “I think personally people don’t put aside time to focus on themselves and learn to understand their emotional triggers to things. Whether it’s at home or at work, you need to understand the impact you have on your team once you get to work,” Emmagen said.

To better understand oneself, IML has a range of people diagnostic tools, including DISC profiling. This tool places you on a spectrum, giving you information to increase your knowledge of self, improve your working relationships and to facilitate better teamwork. The four profiles in this test are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. As Emmagen explained, “If you have a D personality, you might not get along well with someone with an S personality. People analytic tools like this can help show why there might be a conflict or a personality clash within your team.”

Managing and leading others

While diagnostic and analytic tools like DISC create self-awareness, it can also improve the awareness of workplace dynamics. These tools allow you to build a well-balanced team with a good blend of all four profiles. “If you’ve got a facts or systematic driven team but you’ve got one person that might be an Influencer, you might find that they clash a little bit, because the way that they process information is completely different. By creating a blend of these four profiles, you’ll find you have a more effective team,” said Emmagen.

Another important part of managing a team is understanding what your team wants. “You can train people to have the knowledge and you can train people to have the skills,” Emmagen explained, “But you can’t train someone to want something.”

The best way to learn what it is someone wants is to get to know them better. For Emmagen, this means that despite the fact she works remotely from the SmartHub, her leader and manager has taken the time to get to know her and learn what she wants, bringing the team together onto the same path.

One of the ways that Emmagen’s team is brought together is through weekly meetings via online conferencing software Zoom. As the other members of her team work remotely from one another, a weekly meeting helps bring everyone together. “It’s nice to just see each other’s faces and have a chat, which is something that you don’t always get access to when you’re working remotely,” Emmagen said.

Rather than having a single hour-long performance review once a year, Emmagen has found it far better to have frequent informal catchups with her manager. “I like it because it builds trust. It also helps if you’re a manager and you’ve got something difficult that you need to talk to your team member about. You don’t have to wait 12 months to bring it up in a performance review.”

When there is an issue, it can be difficult to address and have that conversation with a team member. “I hate having difficult conversations with people,” Emmagen said. “I tend to do it in a roundabout way. It helps to have an understanding of that person’s communication style. If there’s someone who just wants the facts and to know what they’ve done and what they can do better, go into that conversation with that sort of attitude. If they want to know a bit more information or other ways they might be able to improve, then you could say that this is the issue, we can work together on X, Y and Z to fix it. A team agreement or team mission statement is a great way to set the standards you expect to refer back to during these difficult conversations.”

Creating a team mission statement can be an excellent team-building exercise. “You’ve got your overall organisational mission statement, but as a team you come up with your own that links in with your overarching mission statement,” Emmagen said. “Once you come up with that mission statement together, you’re all on the same page. You’ve met everybody’s expectations and then you can all move forward as a whole.

Managing and leading the business

A common thing that Emmagen comes across in her work is the new manager role, someone who has just stepped into a leadership role and finds themselves struggling to develop a team. “You’re all of a sudden landed with all these extra responsibilities on top of your day-to-day job and it becomes extremely overwhelming and people often bail. So IML has a bunch of resources to help people understand, and there’s other people around who can give you advice on how to better manage your team,” said Emmagen.

One of these resources offered by IML is the Leadership Direct portal, which is free for IML members. This incredible resource has an easy-to-use search function to find exactly the information you need in a range of formats including short five-minute briefings, 20-minute sessions and extended webinars, depending on the level of depth required. Another resource Emmagen recommends is finding a mentor. “I haven’t had one yet, but I love that IML has that option free for members. There’s just something about learning from other people who have been in that situation before you and learning from their successes and their failures,” she said.

Working in the SmartHub

As a remote worker, Emmagen has found using the coworking space at the SmartHub has been amazing for her. “I work by myself, but I’m very much a people person. I love the hustle and bustle around me. It’s been fantastic working in the SmartHub, and you never know who you’re going to meet.”

Emmagen also enjoys the resources available to her as a member of the SmartHub, such as access to all kinds of events and learning opportunities. “I’m often not around for them, but I love that it’s there and that I can watch them afterwards on Facebook.”

If you would like to become a member of the SmartHub, you’ll get to join a community where you can find everything to make your business thrive, including opportunities for mentoring, access to workshops and the support you need to shine! If you’re interested, come down to the SmartHub at 208 Quay St, Rockhampton to learn more about how we can help you.

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