How to Build Capacity – Skills for Team Leaders in Banking and Financial Services Firms

An online poll in early 2011 of former and current team leaders in banking and financial services firms revealed 17 reasons why newly-appointed team leaders fail in their role. Reasons range from poor communication skills, lack of strategic thinking skills and the inability to provide clear guidance to team members in a timely and non-confrontational manner. In the period of recovery for many banking and financial services firms, the appointment and effectiveness of new managers require careful planning and timely interventions to prevent further changes in staff, as a result of appointment of team leaders with confrontational styles and inadequate people management skills.

In order to ensure that managers are effective in the delivery of results and achieving success for the business, experienced managers know they cannot undertake projects on their own. Because doing everything on their own is not an option, they choose instead to build the capacity of very member of their team. This allows them to be able to apply an essential key used by successful managers -‘Delegation’. The art and science of delegation is learnt and applied quite early in their role and it is no different for managers working in banking or financial services firms. Portafina Website

In situations where no member of your team can undertake specific tasks that you would like to delegate, as a manager your next step should be to identify ways of increasing the capability of individuals on your team. This will entail you identifying not only what new learning is required by individual members of your team and the team as a whole, but even more importantly to be able to rank these in order of priority so as to achieve the business goals.

Building capacity -yours and your team

In his book, ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey observed that “An empowered organization is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organizational success.”

In developing strategies and implementing actions to build your own capacity and that of your team, you will find it helpful to identify key skills and attitudes you need to possess. Here are seven key skills and attributes that will yield high dividends for new managers in banking and financial services firms:

  1. Communicate effectively, and with confidence
  2. Be willing to give and receive feedback
  3. Learning from both failures and successes
  4. Being decisive -do not avoid making timely and informed decisions
  5. Be assertive when required with your team -avoid crossing to line to aggressiveness
  6. Prioritise and mange time effectively -both your and members of your team
  7. Setting and achieving goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and time bound).

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