Tips & tricks on how to lead large teams by our PMs

3 min read

Leadership is an essential component of any successful business or organization. The role of a leader is even more critical when it comes to managing large teams. Managing large teams requires effective communication, coordination, and management to achieve the set goals and objectives. Leading large teams can be daunting, and many leaders struggle with it. That's why we reached out to some of our top-performing project managers to share their tips and tricks on effective leadership.

This blog will give you an insight into the strategies and techniques they employ to manage large teams, increase productivity, and ensure success. Whether you're a new or experienced leader, the insights shared by our PMs will help you lead your team more effectively and achieve your goals.

Gain valuable insights on how to be a successful leader

By learning from the experiences of successful project managers, you can gain valuable insights into the best practices and techniques for leading large teams. Effective leadership involves creating a shared vision, fostering collaboration, and motivating team members to provide optimum performance. Our project managers will share tips and tricks on effective communication and efficient task delegation. Your team will be inspired! They will also offer insights into managing conflict, building trust, and establishing accountability to ensure that your team stays on track and achieves its objectives. With the advice shared in this blog, you can become a more effective leader and take your team to the next level.

The most striking differences between managing small & large teams

Managing small and large teams each come with its own set of unique challenges. One of the most striking differences is the level of complexity involved. It almost feels like comparing a walk in the park to a hike up Mount Everest. 

Small teams are like a picnic in the park - it's easy to communicate, and everyone's usually on the same page. Managing large teams can feel like organizing a carnival - you should learn how to juggle many things at once, ensure everyone is happy and that the clowns don't steal the show. It requires a more intricate communication and management structure to ensure everyone gets aligned with common goals and objectives. Delegating responsibilities effectively to avoid micromanaging feels like trying to ride two horses at once - it's not easy, and it's not pretty when it goes wrong. 

As a leader, it's essential to understand the unique strengths and weaknesses of both small and large teams and adapt your management style accordingly. Keeping communication channels open, empowering team members, and maintaining a positive team culture are the keys to success - think of them as the secret sauce to your team's success.

Managing a team, whether small or large, is no easy feat. But according to Edin, the most significant difference between the two is the amount of time invested in the team itself. 

"Managing a large team is like being the conductor of an orchestra," he explains. "You have to make sure everyone is playing the right tune and that no one is playing too loud or too soft." And just like a game of Telephone, miscommunication can lead to disastrous results. "The biggest errors happen when the team plays Telephone, and you need to ensure that doesn't happen." 

While it's easier to direct and align two people than ten, managing a large team can be the ultimate challenge for any manager. So, if you want to lead a successful team, invest time in communication, and remember to keep the orchestra in tune!

Building relationships that will result in a highly-efficient team

If you want to be a successful project manager, it's crucial to establish ground rules from the very beginning. Setting clear expectations and communicating the goals to the team is essential. However, it's equally important to achieve the balance between building relationships and establishing authority. As the project manager, you shouldn't allow your crew to observe you as another team member. You must command the respect of your team members while still maintaining positive relationships with them. 

"You can't get into the team acting like you are a friend to everyone and expect the team members to respect your authority later on," says Vedin.

Building relationships with your team members is essential, but you must ensure they don't perceive you as someone they can take advantage of. The team must understand that there are consequences for missed deadlines or delivering subpar work. With clear expectations and a strong sense of authority, the team can work together to achieve the project's goal.

The foundation of every good relationship is trust, and that is the core principle of efficient team performance. How to build trust in a professional setting? Ensure that what you promise is what you deliver. Integrity is crucial, it is something that you can’t skip!

Building trust is a long process and it breaks in seconds. While building a trust bond, it is better to underpromise and overdeliver than the other way around. As a manager, you should keep everyone's interests, wants, needs, and expectations in mind. You have to ensure that your team doesn’t feel let down. 

Please remember to treat your team members the same way you treat your clients. Deliver what you promise, and the trust bond will become stronger.

Edin Lindov
Project Manager

He continues the story by explaining that trust is a two-way street. "One of my team members finished all of his assignments way ahead of time, and instead of laying low and pretending to be working on it, he called me. He offered his assistance to a team member that was struggling with his part.” The beauty of trust is that it is mutual! Trust is the secret sauce to every successful team! 

The ultimate manager challenge - giving and receiving feedback

As a manager, one of the most significant challenges you may face is providing and receiving feedback effectively. While the term "feedback" often carries a negative connotation, it can also be a valuable tool for promoting growth and improvement in the workplace. Giving and receiving feedback is a critical component of effective leadership. It requires a delicate balance of tact, empathy, and honesty, as well as an understanding of how to frame feedback. Mastering the art of giving and receiving feedback can have a significant impact on team performance and individual development. By creating a culture of open and honest feedback, leaders can foster a positive and productive work environment, leading to higher levels of job satisfaction, retention, and overall success.

“The hardest thing is to receive feedback, especially when you know that it is coming from a place of bitterness. In those situations, you need to keep a cool head and listen to the person. The second step is to acknowledge the words that came your way and thank the person for sharing. The next step is to take some time to think about it and come back to the person with a solid answer, whether you will accept or decline the feedback,” says Vedin. 

Giving feedback can be tricky, especially when it is not to praise someone. You need to prepare the situation, set the tone, and ensure the person understands. If you are having a monologue, you are doing something wrong. As a manager, you have to ensure that it is a dialogue at all times. 

“Always give negative feedback one on one. Never, and I repeat never, do it in front of the team. It decreases morale, and your team members start observing you as the enemy number one”, says Edin, and continues, “On the other hand, when it comes to praising someone, try to do it in front of the team. It will encourage better performance and give a feeling of being appreciated.”

At Tech387, we have established a feedback mechanism that involves team managers delivering feedback directly to team members rather than the People Operations Department. According to our research, team members tend to be more receptive to feedback coming from their managers. We prioritize addressing issues internally before escalating them to other departments to promote collaboration and problem-solving. We only involve other departments when problems become persistent despite internal efforts to resolve them. We consider escalation when team members demonstrate a lack of improvement or initiative. Recent statistics suggest that this approach has led to a more efficient and productive work environment, resulting in increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Key takeaways and final thoughts

In conclusion, leading a large team can be challenging, but it's essential for achieving the set goals and objectives. Effective leadership requires a combination of excellent communication, coordination, and management skills. In this blog, we shared insights from our top-performing project managers on how to lead large teams. We learned that managing a large team requires a different approach than managing a small team, and the key to success is open communication and empowering team members. We also learned that building trust and positive relationships is crucial for team performance, and effective feedback is a valuable tool for growth. By following the tips and tricks shared in this blog, project managers can become more effective leaders and take their teams to the next level. Thank you for reading, and we wish you all the best in your leadership journey.

Edin Lindov
Project Manager
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