10 Truly Terrible Management Mistakes
Nobody EVER gets it right the first time or every time – mistakes are just about the learning process and while we aim to get things right all the time we all make mistakes – how else would we learn and develop our skills?
While our workplaces, and roles, may be different, there are many standard mistakes that we should just not be making – see how many of the following you are guilty of!
- Not giving feedback to your team: we all want to know how we are doing and get some guidance as to where we ca be better or where we have excelled. To not practice this skill well leads to demotivation, poor output and high staff turnover. Providing feedback is a core duty for any manager!
- Give the team your time: you may well be very busy but your staff deserve a large amount of your time. By being available you can resolve issues, sort out difficulties and set standards for them to follow. Not actually having time to be with your people makes them feel unwanted and that your job is far more important than their inputs to growth and change.
- Being too remote: a classic problem of the never-present manager is that the team does not fully understand tasks and outputs required. This then makes your job in meeting deadlines and achieving targets that much harder. Everyone loses!
- Being too friendly: this gets in the way when difficult decisions are needed and forces you into a position where your objectivity is lost. The other issue here is that some staff will see this as an opportunity to exploit you and get things to work in their favour, rather than yours!
- Unclear targets: a major cause of poor team dynamics is the frustration around not actually knowing what is expected of the team. Do your staff fully understand how their work fits into the bigger picture of the department and the wider organisation? If not, this needs to be put right by you!
- Not seeing the bigger picture of Motivation: not everyone just works for the money and the trick to successful management is in recognising what each team member wants from work, what they enjoy doing and what is a real demotivational force. Get to know your team as individuals.
- Not recruiting the right people: as a vacancy arises there is a temptation to fill the position as fast as possible. This is poor management because what you need to do is think what type of role is needed and what type of person fits that role. This is a golden opportunity to refresh the team structure and add a different dynamic – rather than replacing person X with another person X. No progress here!
- Failing to be a role model: staff watch what managers do and will pick up on how they present themselves and the standards they practice. If you were consistently late every day how could you expect your staff not to follow this pattern? If you do not live the standards that you preach this sets an inconsistent message which will only lead to uncertainty and poor morale, output and a lack of motivation. If you do not care what should your staff care?
- Not delegating: you should NEVER do all your job and the need to pass some tasks to your staff is an essential part of their development. This will also mean that you will drown in your own work and be constantly chasing your tail to keep up with things! This will also mean that you are bogged down in the operational aspects of your job, leaving no time to develop any strategic direction. Managers need to do, and think, strategically.
- Not understanding what your job is about: no longer part of a team of people on an even footing, the manager’s role is very different and requires the development of new skills and a new outlook. If you do not recognise this then your managerial career is heading on a downward spiral! Be clear what is expected of you and work towards meeting this.
Making mistakes, if you learn from them, is a good approach – BUT better to think about issues and situations before you make a mistake!
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