Are you the lucky one who feels part of an organic group that acts as one? Are you communicating with your team through quick glances and head movements? Most important, do you enjoy working with these people? If not, this article is for you.
Running a powerful event team means so much more than coordinating the activities of highly qualified professionals who do their best. As a leader, your responsibilities go beyond planning multiple to-do lists, scheduling endless meetings, and monitoring work progress. You also need to focus on building an empowering culture based on respect, mutual support, and assertiveness.
In his book EVENTS 2 - How to organize a successful event?, eventplanner.tv founder Kevin Van der Straeten highlights, "Working in a team has the advantage that you can count on the creative and conceptual input of other minds." To access this input, you need to be able to efficiently manage your team.
Moreover, as indicated in Joe Goldblatt's book, according to Julia Rutherford Silvers, educational consultant and industry editor for the George Washington University Event Management Certificate Program, "Leadership requires trust, and trust depends on integrity, competence, and confidence. Managers analyze information, make inferences, and make decisions. They allocate resources to solve problems, assign tasks, and make schedules. Leaders influence and inspire others to achieve a goal. Leaders motivate. Leaders evaluate decisions, imagine consequences, and build contingencies."
If you want a truly strong team, you have to know how to manage it efficiently. How can you do it? Here’s a list of tips that will help you:
Tip 1. Know your team members well
There are people who are naturally better at some tasks than others. Even in a concrete area like event management, you may be surprised to learn that there are people who are better at planning event schedules and others at negotiating with event suppliers. As a leader, you should learn more about each team member’s strengths and harness their true potential, which in turn lets them truly enjoy their work.
Tip 2. Develop a positive team culture
Would you work well in a group if you felt like you couldn't be yourself? Do you think you’d be able to do your job effectively with your manager breathing down your back? Would you feel safe in a toxic work environment? Obviously, the answer to these questions is no.
That’s exactly why you should be extra careful about the team culture you’re encouraging. According to the Harvard Business Review article Positive Teams Are More Productive, a healthy and positive team culture equals higher efficiency and productivity. As mentioned in the article, the increment of positive emotions "broaden employees' resources and abilities by improving people’s relationships with each other and amplifying their creativity and ability to think creatively." You can start to develop a positive culture by inviting your event team to special retreats, boot camps, workshops, team building sessions, etc.
Tip 3. Delegate responsibility in a healthy way
Two things will decrease a team's efficiency: delegating responsibilities unevenly, or not delegating enough and doing everything yourself. According to Jayson DeMers, an entrepreneur and Inc. writer, one of the biggest problems team leaders face is that they "don't know how to delegate effectively, or aren't willing to do it unless they absolutely have to."
This can lead to work overload for yourself or another team member who will end up taking on the bulk of the work. Start learning how to delegate responsibilities evenly and see your team's work efficiency soar.
Apart from that, as DeMers notes, "Trust your teammate to execute it on his or her own terms. This will allow the person to tackle the work the way he or she feels is best. However, don't be afraid to occasionally step in and verify that the task is moving along as planned."
Tip 4. Choose the soft power leadership model
Planners experience enough stress setting up and running events as it is. Nobody wants to have an authoritarian boss or team manager on top of that stress. So do your team a favor and don’t be a tyrant. Instead, experiment with the soft power leadership model (based on emotional intelligence, empathy, personal passions and discipline, effective communication, and inspiring common vision).
According to Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr., "Soft power rests on the ability to shape the preferences of others. In the business world, smart executives know that leadership is not just a matter of issuing commands, but also involves leading by example and attracting others to do what you want.é This leadership style encourages positive dialogue, employees’ personal growth, and empowerment.
Tip 5. Always be available for your team
Whenever planning or running events, unpredictable situations happen. That’s exactly why it’s so important to let your team members know that they can always reach you for assistance, help, or advice. By being always available to address team members’ issues and provide support, you’ll boost their confidence and greatly strengthen the team dynamic.
Call to action
When people enjoy their work environment, they tend to be more efficient and productive. The constant growth and improvement of the humane relationship among your employees will reflect not only on their emotional and professional well-being, but also on the quality of your events. So start working on your event team culture right away.
Delegate responsibilities correctly, considering the abilities of each team member. Encourage a positive attitude at work and plan a series of team building dynamics that will deepen relationships and foster trust. Finally, always be available for your team (via phone or online messaging), letting them know that you trust them and are there to extinguish unexpected fires.