How to Become a Team Leader in the Workplace

How to develop leadership skills in the workplace

There are many skills and qualities you need to learn before becoming a team leader in the workplace But at least demonstrate that you are capable of doing the following:

  1. Focus on the team, not yourself
  2. Be a source of ideas but respect others
  3. Take full responsibility of the team
  4. Think positively and motivate team members
  5. Provide support and ask for help  
  6. Avoid dithering
  7. Act decisively  
  8. Engage is a two way conversation  
  9. Make clear goals
  10. Be a role model
  11. Listen to others
  12. Avoid gossiping 
  13. Be open and honest 

The list above is part of many things you need to lead a team.    But you can learn most skills as with experience because good leadership depends on continuous learning.  

How to Become a Good Team Leader 

A good team leader is effective.  You can become an effective team leader by observing the work behaviors of the best senior managers in your workplace, and learn from them.  

Be proactive and set yourself weekly learning goals.  Those goal must focus on developing your leadership skills like people management, effective communication, good decision making, setting clear expectations and prioritising.  You also want to learn how to take and own team responsibility.  That means concentrating on the team, individuals, and tasks.     

Then start to analyze the way your managers think, act, behave, and make decisions.  When observing the managers, focus only on things they do right and wrong, not their popularity.   


Take away the lessons from the exercise and determine what’s necessary going forward. 

Ask yourself some intentional questions – what traits and skills can help me to reach my goal?  What weaknesses will hinder me?

What do I need to change to be a good team leader?    

Do not be intimidated by what you learn out of the exercise.  Hold on to your dream, and don’t be distracted in your current job. 

To lead others is not an easy task.  Sometimes it can feel like the weight of each person in your team is placed on your wobbly legs.  It requires determination, courage, efforts, and self-assessment.  But you can do it.

You might also want to read this: How do You Manage Your Time and Prioritise Tasks?

To develop leadership skills on your own requires focus and self-motivation.  The key is to begin preparing for your transition, no matter how long that will be. 

You can do this step by step – meaning that you plan, and get yourself ready for the opportunity when it comes.  By planning, you will increase your chances of getting in front of the other people for promotion.

Other Qualities you Need to Become a Team Leader 

Think Like a Leader 

Before acting, or standing out like a leader, you must first think like a leader – and avoid any negative thinking.  Effective team-leading requires the leader to feel all the time positively.  Even when the team is facing a severe crisis.

Be Positive  

You need to be positive to lead a team.  Having a positive attitude will allow you to see the good in bad.  Also, it will help you find ways to solve any team-related problem.   Make sure you focus on things that can yield positive results.   

Think, like I can change something here to make everyone’s job easier or faster.  Set your mind on how you can get others to work together towards achieving the same goal. 

One of the requirements of becoming an effective team leader is   the ability to persuade team members to do something willingly.   You need to learn how to use persuasive language to get your colleagues to pull together gladly and complete whatever task. 

Let everyone know that you’re available if there’s any work needs completing.  And then try to convince colleagues to join you for extra hours to get the job done.

Check yourself by asking, is my attitude problematic or consolidates team spirit?  

When you become a team leader, you’ve to think across the entire team and beyond, not focussing on yourself.  

Act Like a Team Leader

It is also essential to know from the start that acting like a leader is different than actually being one.  So, do not behave as if you are a boss.  Most people do not like to work for a boss, and they want to work with a leader.

You’re acting as a team lead for a reason, which is not the goal.   Your goal is to prove that you have the leadership qualities to lead a team.  It’s the reason that will drive you towards that goal – not the goal itself.  

If your reason for acting as a leader is to show (off) how competent you can be, you’re not going to achieve that goal.  Remember a ludicrous reason will only give you a stupid goal.

Another useful article here: Learn How to Improve Employee Job Satisfaction and Morale

Leadership requires initiative.  By acting as a leader, you are trying to show that you can lead a team.  So, do not be timid. 

Get out of your comfort zone and make yourself available to do something or even helping others.  See where your manager is struggling and offer to help, but do not try to over-shine your leader.

Show that you are proactive, forward-thinking and you care.  But avoid taking on more tasks than you can complete just because you are trying to show what you are capable of.  


Do not dither, be decisive when providing solutions to challenges

Look back at how your managers have made decisions and learn from them if necessary. 

That is very important because anyone in a leadership role makes decisions. 

Once you become a leader, you’ll make decisions based on the facts to hand – even if it turns out to be the wrong one.

Show Your Leadership Skills

Your team leading ability can be measured the moment you take charge of the team.  How you conduct yourself in the team leadership position can excel or destroy your credibility as a leader.  

Be confident, self-assured, self-aware, consistent, fair, and give respect to everyone.   

Always speak up, but through dialogue and show respect when you’re listening to others as this article puts it here.  

Plant ideas and be repetitive when selling those ideas. Show colleagues how to believe in themselves.  And teach them how to value their contribution to the team efforts.

Reach out to other people in other teams, offices, and build relationships.  People will want to work with you based on the way you talk, behave, or if you are honest and transparent.  

In other words, you need to be honest and have the integrity to build good relationships.  

It will be complicated than anything you’ve ever done.  To become a team leader in the workplace requires commitment and sometimes sacrifice to pull it off.  But if you manage to do it, you’ll enjoy being a team leader for the first time. 

How to become a team leader? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below

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