Set clear expectations.
Are you trying to establish an overall environment where everyone feels like they are part of a big team working together toward a common goal, or are you trying to establish a smaller group to work on a specific project? Either way, letting people know that you are continually assessing your succession plan lets them see where they fit in the big picture and what potential their future holds. When people know where they are headed, they will get there with fewer headaches and setbacks, for themselves and for you.
Share your knowledge and encourage them to share theirs.
Encourage them to read articles on leadership skills. Start some lively discussions about what everyone is reading. Then, if someone has a problem that you can help with, speak up. By sharing your expertise, you not only save the person the time and trouble of searching for the solution, but also earn their respect and trust, which makes the whole team stronger. On the flip side, ask for advice and be willing to listen to their ideas and implement them in your own projects.
Say good things about other people.
It makes people feel good to hear that you’re praising them behind their backs. Too many times, the only things people say when you’re not present are negative. Turn that around to show your team members that you really are on their side and that you support their efforts.
Encourage collaboration. Encourage employees and team members to form smaller teams to a specific project, task, or goal. Working together on a project is a great way for people to get to know each other better.
Ask questions. This is a great way to get a conversation going. When you ask questions, the person you’re talking to feels like you’re really interested in what they have to say, which makes your relationship stronger.
Develop your friendship. Friends do other things together besides work. Whether it’s golf, bowling, or participating in a charity project together, activities outside of work help cement your friendship and make it stronger. Spending time with people shows them that they are important to you.