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POPin Blog

Avoiding the Catcalls from Management Pratfalls

Nobody likes making mistakes, but then again, mistakes can provide valuable opportunities for learning. Managers who make mistakes should take responsibility for their actions, but they should also draw lessons from their errors in order to do better in the future. In the interest of avoiding mistakes before they happen, and to help managers grow into their roles, here are some of the most common managerial blunders and how to avoid them, according to research from Monster.com and Mindtools.com. Failing to Transition from Worker to Manager – Leaders should recognize their new responsibilities when they get promoted to the ranks of management. They are no longer only accountable for their specific job roles alone. As managers, they are accountable for the results of whole groups of people who they must oversee. This enlarged sphere of responsibility requires managers to develop people skills to remain responsive to their team’s problems and concerns. People skills include the ability to listen carefully, to feel empathy for others, and to negotiate compromises. Oftentimes, new managers also make the mistake of remaining too friendly with members of their teams. Of course making small talk and socializing with the crew helps to motivate people and build unity, but it’s important to maintain a clear chain of command that distinguishes between being a colleague and being the boss. Failing to Set Clear Goals and Expectations – A central role for any manager is to define a sense of purpose and provide direction for members of the team. That’s why it is important to regularly meet with employees to review their goals, set priorities and deadlines, and get their thoughts about any roadblocks or problems they’re experiencing. Providing a constructive, ongoing feedback loop is a critical responsibility of management to unify the team and to help employees improve their performances. Failing to Delegate Responsibilities – Some leaders go too far by trying to micromanage everything, rather than empowering employees to take increased responsibility for the overall success of the team. Failure to delegate tasks can result in managerial burnout, combined with employees who are unable to develop new skills or make progress in their job roles. It’s much more productive to push responsibility down to the most able people, then monitor their efforts and give them regular guidance. In this way, employees will feel more engaged and more willing to make an extra effort to support the boss. Failing to Recognize Employee Achievement – This is an enormous gaffe that many managers make. It is a serious mistake to assume that just because things are going well, everyone on the team must be satisfied. Sometimes, people feel their bosses who overlook or downplay their accomplishments are not respecting them. Other times, bosses just feel too busy to extend a simple compliment or say thanks for someone else’s success. If people come to feel that their efforts are never fully appreciated, they will be less inclined to make an effort in the future. In worst-case scenarios, their morale will plummet so much that they may search for a new job where they will earn more respect. Failing to Control Your Ego – In order to succeed, managers must become leaders, but even the best leaders should admit that they don’t know everything. Building a cohesive team requires a balancing act to get out in front and lead the troops, while still honoring their views. Pride is not the best emotion to guide business decisions. A leader who remains rational and self-effacing will lift the team’s spirits and be much more effective than a know-it-all boss who just barks out orders and expects immediate results.