Transformational leadership: How to foster an exceptional team building environment09 Jan 2023
“Leadership” and “team building” are two terms we’re all familiar with. Almost all of us understand why both are important for enhanced productivity, but the connection between them is not understood to the same degree. Transformational leadership is even less well known.
We’ll unpack the basic elements of this approach to leadership and how it relates to team building, its advantages and how to develop a workplace in which team building is integral and valued.
Fundamentals of transformational leadership
As Verywell Mind explains, transformational leadership “[inspires] positive changes in those who follow.” Traditionally, leadership has often been characterised by strictness, obedience (on behalf of the followers) and discipline. By contrast, transformational leadership takes a gentler yet more effective approach: It aims to bring out the best in people and to enhance productivity because employees want to do well and achieve great heights for their organisation, not because they have to. What does this look like in action?
- Development: Transformative leaders are dedicated to helping their team members grow as people and constantly improve themselves. They encourage intellectual stimulation and curiosity.
- Enthusiasm: This brand of manager or supervisor is energetic and passionate about the work they do, and aims to inspire that same drive in their employees and keep them motivated.
- Support: Leaders who adopt a transformational approach focus on uplifting and nurturing their workforce, rather than reprimanding and punishing them.
- Communication: Transformative leaders are excellent communicators and understand the importance of honest and open dialogue.
Benefits of this approach
There are many advantages to adopting a transformational leadership style. They include:
- Improved skill set: As a result of being encouraged to evolve and mature, people refine their abilities (and learn new ones) in their respective professions.
- Enhanced productivity: Team members who work under a transformational leader perform better because their desire to succeed is positively reinforced.
- Increased retention: Transformational leadership naturally promotes a positive company culture which, in turn, encourages employees to stay on at their job. This leads to fewer resignations.
- Decreased workplace conflict: When leaders champion healthy communication, they see fewer instances of interpersonal altercations between their team members.
Key steps to create an effective team building environment
As you might guess, employees who feel supported, heard and valued by their leaders are more likely to be engaged and cooperative. Engagement and cooperation are two of the most important cornerstones of team building. After all, you can’t build a team when its members want nothing to do with their job outside of the bare minimum, or even each other. Connected, eager staff members are vital for an organisation’s success. Here’s how you can boost team building through transformational leadership:
- Discussions: Take time to facilitate sincere conversations between team members about their workplace experiences (but don’t force people to share). By speaking genuinely with each other, they’ll develop stronger bonds and be more likely to connect further.
- Group workshops: Hosting skills development courses is a great way for your employees to hone their skills and spend time with each other. They can also use seminars as an opportunity for mutual learning.
- Workplace gatherings: Find out what kind of events your team would like to do. Options include scavenger hunts, bake-offs, obstacle courses or even just a midweek picnic. Whether it’s competitive or not, a workplace event is a great way for employees to get to know each other.
Did this information strike a chord? Check out our self-leadership course if you’re interested in improving your team’s self-leadership skills. Alternatively, contact us to find out how we can best assist your team.