Every manager makes mistakes from time to time. Every boss is human, but making the same mistake or not learning from the mistakes of others can be a real missed opportunity. As a leader at your company, your staff looks to you for vision and a steady hand. So, look at what others have learned from these common mistakes and make sure you don’t fall into the same management traps along the way.
Mistake 1. Micromanaging Your Employees
You’ve likely heard that micromanagement is a poor choice in leadership styles. It’s frustrating for the employee and a waste of time for the supervisor as well. When there is so much on the line it can be tempting to rein in your staff to make sure the job gets done to your expectations. But don’t be fooled, it’s not worth the grief. Micromanaging impacts your teams by fostering frustration, damaging self-confidence and trust, and overall reducing morale. If you find yourself needing to disconnect from this management style, take a step back from those projects which are most problematic. Lay out your expectations clearly to your staff, and let them bring their best to the table. Course correct only when needed, but count on the skills and creative solutions your team can provide.
Mistake 2. Not Providing a Strong Vision
Lack of clarity in terms of goals or mission for any team is at heart a management mistake. These issues need to be addressed from the top down. Without a strong vision, employees often lack the understanding of their work and their place in the business. Luckily, this is something that can be corrected easily by aligning goals; then clearly communicating those goals to your team. When they see the larger vision for the team or the company, they better understand the value of their work, and where it ladders into the bigger picture.
Mistake 3. Not Making Decisions
A strong leader can make good decisions quickly and efficiently. They are committed to taking responsibility for their actions, and the actions of their team, because they know the buck stops with them. A confidence in their ability to make decisions in high-pressure situations, ones which are based on information and data, is critical to quality decision-making skills. If you have found yourself sitting on the fence on one too many occasions, make a note to be the one to set the course. You likely have the best understanding of both the opportunities and the consequences, should you choose the wrong one. Rather than criticizing others for their decisions, step up and make sure you are the one driving the ship.
Mistake 4. Not Being a Teacher or Mentor
A good leader is also a good teacher and an important mentor to their employees. Teaching skills might not seem like a staple leadership quality, but managers who are unable to communicate new processes or insights effectively are often unable to motivate and engage those they need to get the job done. A successful leader can identify gaps in the skill sets of their team, and then work towards teaching individuals how to fill that void to create a better, more well-rounded team. Make sure you are offering this support to your team to help them achieve their best at work.
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