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Chapter 7. Who's Gonna Do the Work? > The Team Leader's Role - Pg. 79

Who's Gonna Do the Work? 79 Who Does What? One of the basic functions of the team leader in giving assignments to team members is to get to know each team member. All associates are individuals and the team leader must consider their individualities rather than deal with all members in the same way. Let's use the word PEOPLE as an acronym to provide hints on how to assign work that will give each of the people in our team the opportunity to succeed and to grow. Personality:Learn what turns each associate on--or off. People react differently to different approaches. Some need lots of attention; others look upon attention as prying or condescending. There are people who need frequent reinforcement; others need only an occasional pat on the back. Learn the patterns of behavior of each team member and tailor the way he or she is dealt with to those patterns. Exceptional characteristics:Look for those traits that make each associate stand out from oth- ers. For example, Laurie is very creative. When you appeal to her creativity, Laurie can be motivated to tackle difficult projects and to contribute ideas and suggestions that may help solve problems. Gary is a perfectionist. Give him assignments where quality is paramount. Opportunity:Many team members want to expand their knowledge and acquire new skills. As- signing them work that will give them this opportunity will increase their enthusiasm for the job, and their overall performance will be enhanced. Participation:Let the associates participate in deciding what to do and how to do it. As pointed out earlier in this book, when team members participate, the team benefits in two ways: (1) they generate ideas derived from the experiences and knowledge of several people, and, (2) because the members were involved, they are likely to be committed to the project's success. Leadership:When assigning work, rather than giving orders to associates, the effective team leader discusses the assignment, answers questions, provides the resources needed, and mo-