How to lead a Team that Does not want to Follow you

When you are new to a company, no Job titles, gold lettering on doorways and spiffy business cards can get you that hoped-for respect. You need to win over people who are hesitant to accept the leadership of the new sheriff in town and see you as an outsider. If you are looking to build very productive relationships with even the most adversarial of individuals. Here are a few tips to follow. 

Be Consistent

If your aim is to bridge gaps and foster a deeper understanding, you need to stop confusing your employees. Don’t say one thing but do something else. Make sure to stick to your word and follow through on your commitments, no matter the circumstances. While you can’t expect your employees to see eye to eye with you on all matters, you can at least ensure that they trust you all the time.

Fickle and indecisive leaders do not inspire trust. Never exhibit a lack of character or compromise your values. Let your team sees that you always do the right thing. Finally, know that no person is universally right, you just have to do your best and leave it at that.

Show that you trust employees to work independently

If you are the type of leader who likes to wear all the hats and micromanage everything, you are in for a rocky start. You need to trust your employees to work independently and nurture their ideas and solutions for accomplishing a goal. Most employees thrive on autonomy and outdo themselves when given a chance to do something bigger than themselves. It’s up to the leaders to build an environment of trust where innovation continues to grow.

Instead of micromanaging your team and thinking that you have all the answers, step back and let your employees take the reins from time to time. Appreciate them when they succeed, and refrain from snubbing them if they fail.  Remember: build trust, ask for help, and respect everyone

Engage with Company influencers

Every company has key people. Your job as a leader is to find, meet and make inroads with those influencers. These people are the key to understanding the perspective of your resistors and why they won’t accept your leadership. Activate engage people who have a lot of influence with employees and try to get them on board. If you extend the olive branch to them, they will in turn leverage their influence to get others to comply. However, don’t get too carried away with winning them over. Spending too much time trying to convert your team can distract you from your goals. 

Ask “How can I help?” 

Though they may never admit it, your team needs support and training to do their jobs right and succeed in their career. Ensure that they have the right tools, training, equipment, and support they need to succeed at their job and advance in their career. Don’t do their work for them, but help them grow and expand their ability to solve critical problems by asking thought provoking questions.

Audit your environment

Adopt the corporate culture, and you’ll fit in; Fail to mold yourself, and you’ll look out of place every single day. You may be new to the organization but your employees have been following that culture for some time now and are comfortable with it.

Let’s start with your wardrobe. For instance, if you are working at a casual company, don’t wear formal suits and ties to work when everybody else is clad in jeans and tees. The right dressing will help you gain internal advocates and send the positive message that you are in tune with the work culture. If you want to ease your transition to a new workplace, start by understanding the vision of the organization as well as the work culture that is steeped in the very foundation of the workplace. 

Respect All Employees

Surrounding yourself with likeminded people and leading a team of people who adore you, doesn’t exactly test your leadership mettle. Disagreement and disrespect are two different things. Even if you don’t always agree with your employees or frequently have difference of opinion, never disrespect them or call them out.

Respect is at the core of building meaningful relationships. Be it fostering high performance teams, partnerships, or peer-to-peer relationships, respect is the key. Respecting the perspective of your employees is what gains their trust and respect.

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