The “people management” aspect of team-building doesn’t always come easily to leaders. But letting go of control over the business you’ve painstakingly built is a critical step in growing and building trust with your team. Here’s how to do it.

In today’s virtual, work-from-home environment, agents are seeking training and coaching in entirely new ways. In August, we’re laser-focused on what defines good coaching today and how to get the most out of it.

For most top producers who turn into team leaders, “people management” is often the most difficult aspect of the job. When your team and business are growing, you need to learn to let go of your control and delegate to your team members — with trust.

Having the proper systems and training in place, while leveraging your team members’ strengths, creates a high-performance environment for everyone. It also helps build trust. If you’re having trouble surrendering control, try following these important three steps. 

1. Creating and implementing systems

Your role as a leader is to build components that lead to results. You also have to make sure that your systems empower others to deliver the standards of your business, and hold team members accountable to keep that system on track. 

Have systems and protocols that work, so you’re powering up your people instead of micromanaging them. Allow them to take responsibility and lean into what their gifts are. You need to support them with personal and business goals, so they can learn more about themselves and benefit your team as a result. 

The more someone grows as a person, the bigger their capacity is for excellence in business. Sometimes, we get scared of powering up our people. The reality is that if a business is expanding, it’s likely going to create more opportunities for employees to grow into.

If you have good, motivational leadership and a high-performance environment, that will always trump talent. Creating a positive work environment that encourages people to win and grow — in addition to implementing the right systems and processes — is exactly what your team needs to succeed in the long run.

Once they’re trained, let your people manage themselves. Give them enough room to achieve the dream that brought them into sales in the first place — and that’s to run their own business.

2. Providing training

Training goes directly hand in hand with systems. Implement the right systems, and then train your team members on how to navigate them. This will create a smooth flow and allow you to loosen the reins on your team.

When training, shadowing is the typical path most companies take. The process allows newbies to learn on the fly, as a more experienced agent shows them the ropes of the job. The mistake here is that every person does it differently every single time. This inconsistency doesn’t work to effectively prepare agents for success when they’re on their own. 

The team leaders that I coach work on the idea of mastery. Everyone follows the same steps, so everyone knows what it takes to be successful. Agents approach the situations with their own personalities and interpretations, but at that point, they already have a set system to guide them.

When it comes to enforcing the training, anyone who has talked to me about it knows this will be my answer: “Know it so well that you can’t forget it.” Learning through intensive training and dedicating weeks to the art ultimately pays off. 

3. Leveraging strengths

Another important element worth discussing is leveraging your and your team members’ strengths. Do you know what you’re great at? Do you have the right expertise when it comes to other areas of your business?

Are you aware of what’s next for your business and what it’ll take to get there? Are you considering your next hire and how you’ll adjust your systems and processes for whoever takes that position?

We use the “GENIUS Model” to categorize and rank our daily, weekly and monthly tasks. The “G” is for “Genius.” These tasks energize you and make the business the most money, because they provide the most value. The “E” is for “Excellent” — tasks that you enjoy and are good at.

The “N” stands for tasks that are “Neutral,” meaning that you do them when necessary, while the “I” is for work that “Involves Others.” Lastly, the “U” is for “Underachieving,” or tasks you’re not particularly good at, and “S” is for work that you should “Stop” doing because it’s a train wreck.

If you’re leading a big team, sometimes people management moves into a “Neutral,” “Involves Others,” “Underachieving” or “Stop” task on your GENIUS model.

As a leader, you have to make the decision to move some management portions of leadership to another team member who thrives in that area. This doesn’t mean you’ll stop motivating and leading the team. Leverage is important because if you can take some things off your plate, it ultimately becomes very valuable to your overall business.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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