Leading technical teams

Leading technical teams – overview

Technical teams need leaders to help extract the real potential that exists within the team. Whilst technical teams carry technical competency, leaders really need to understand how to get the best out of the team. Many leaders of technical teams have ‘risen through the ranks’ and may well have considerable technical expertise. Knowing how to lead a team of technical staff requires a very different skillset. This workshop is packed with practical activities which will provide a rich and lasting learning experience.

This programme enables leaders to:

  • Understand team dynamics
  • Utilise ‘soft skills’ within technical contexts
  • Generate a real sense of teamwork and team identity
  • Concentrate on leading, rather than doing
  • Empower, build trust and delegate effectively
  • Craft a team that learns, develops and grows

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

This workshop will help participants:

  • Appreciate the differences between groups and teams
  • Understand the phases of team development and how to progress team performance
  • Understand the characteristics of ‘performing’ teams
  • Understand how behaviours, personality and preferences influence team practice
  • Understand the need for differing team roles
  • Spot the real issues which need addressing within the team
  • Develop and clarify the team’s ‘purpose’
  • Be able to hold honest conversations
  • Build trust and deepen relationships within the team
  • Develop enhanced communication skills
  • Be able to adopt an appropriate leadership style in specific situations
Who should attend?

Anyone who is new to leading or managing a technical team, or who is likely to be stepping into this type of role. The programme is also very useful for those who have been leading or managing technical staff for some time and wish to enhance, refine or take a fresh look at their leadership competency and capability.

Course format

A very practical, interactive two-day workshop for a maximum group size of 12. There are lots of different activities throughout the workshop – group exercises, practice activities, personal reflection and team scenarios – as well as a number of formal inputs from the trainer. Much of the delivery is experiential, enabling the learning to have maximum impact for participants.

The style is very facilitative and learner-centred, taking into account the needs and preferences of the group on the day whilst at the same time delivering the programme as agreed with the client in order to meet the specified learning objectives.

Special features

The majority of the training we deliver is either tailored or completely bespoke. This workshop can therefore be delivered entirely as advertised, or it can be tailored to your particular requirements, or we can simply take it as a starting point for a conversation with you before we draft a completely bespoke programme for you – the choice is yours. As a rule, there is no additional charge for this service.

Expert trainer

Miles is a multi-accredited project and change management trainer, coach and consultant with a wealth of experience and expertise working in the UK and overseas. Miles’s experience includes working in the public, private and voluntary sectors, including Lloyds Bank, Rolls Royce, The Royal Mint, University of Oxford, Olympus, central and local government, Barnardo’s, the NHS, Orange, Formula 1 teams and various start-ups. He is also a Visiting Lecturer for the All Wales Public Service Graduate Programme MSc in Leadership and Governance.

He has more than 15 years’ experience delivering workshops and development programmes in project and change management and to thousands of members of staff. He has undertaken numerous project assignments involving changing internal project practices, from major transformations to more subtle refinements to current practice.

Miles is accredited in numerous approaches to support projects such as PRINCE2®, APM, AgilePM, BCS Project Management and Scrum, and is a full member of the Association for Project Management.

Miles has been particularly keen to help bring coaching practices into the field of project management and wrote a chapter on ‘Using coaching in the project environment’ for a recent Association for Project Management publication (Coaching in the project environment). Much of the project consultancy he undertakes involves a thoughtful and listening-led approach.

Miles’s programmes get excellent feedback, as the following comments from programme participants demonstrate:

‘Very professional and solution-focused.’

‘Miles, the tutor on the programme, is a strong expert and got to grips with our business needs quickly. He has evolved with us and kept pace with what we implemented and changed thinking. I can certainly recommend what has been done and how it’s been delivered.’

‘An exceptionally talented instructor, excellent people skills and would recommend.’

‘We have had positive feedback from our Operational Managers regarding the course you ran for us. As a result, the Senior Management Team would like you to run some training for them.’

‘Coaching helped me identify the real challenges at both personal and professional level.’

‘Miles’s coaching renewed my self-confidence.’

‘Coaching helped me through a very difficult time.’

Leading technical teams – course outline

1 Understanding teams and teamwork

  • What is a group and what is a team?
  • The role of the leader
  • The role of the team
  • Types of team
  • What does ‘good teamwork’ look like?
  • The challenges of leading technical teams
  • The specific characteristics and make-up of performing teams

2 Personality and team preferences

  • Emotionally intelligent leadership, and its relation to effective teamwork
  • Managing yourself – how to cope under pressure, become more resilient and be a more confident leader
  • Understanding each other – personality types and traits
  • Task versus people – how to find the right balance when leading technical staff
  • How to help team members find their best role within the team

3 Communication and collaboration

  • Goal and objective setting
  • The dangers of silo-working
  • The merits of collaborative working
  • Empathic listening
  • Effective communication approaches and how to sustain them
  • Holding candid conversations
  • Using curiosity and effective questioning approaches

4 Leadership approaches and models

  • Situational leadership – adopting appropriate leadership styles in specific contexts
  • Delegating effectively
  • Empowering the team
  • Holding the team to account
  • Dealing with difficult behaviours
  • Effective decision-making
  • Potential – how much have you got, and how much does the team have?
  • Leader as ‘multiplier’ – tapping into the team’s potential and creating tomorrow’s leaders
  • Leadership agility – when to ‘step in’ and when to ‘step back’

5 Team relationship development

  • Diagnosing issues within the team
  • How to build trust
  • Getting comfortable with challenge
  • Encouraging the team to ‘step up’ and take responsibility
  • Dealing with crises
  • Neuroscience, change and team-based learning
  • Developing a growth mindset
  • Walking the talk – role modelling desired behaviours
  • Fundamentals of feedback – how to give it and how to receive it
  • Developing empathy within the team
  • Handling conflict effectively
  • Engaging effectively with stakeholders

6 Pulling it all together

  • Group feedback
  • Personal action-planning
  • Personal learning summary