Seven Mistakes Managers Make
When I did a web search of “mistakes managers make,” I got 262,200 hits. Many of these links point to articles that cite anywhere from four mistakes managers make to thirty or more mistakes. Do the math: It comes out to well over a million mistakes managers make.
Fortunately, many of these links are to the same articles, and many of the unique articles highlight the same or similar mistakes. In fact, in scanning several of the articles, I found that certain mistakes kept surfacing. Here are just a few. See if any of them remind you of—you.
1. Viewing your work through the lens of what you know
When you view your work through the lens of what you know, you might tend to ignore other areas that are critical to success. In doing so, you overmanage your area of expertise.
2. Doing your staff’s work for them
Often, you can do your staff's work better and faster than they can. And if you want the work done right, there are times when you have to do it yourself. But if you do this regularly, you fail to prepare your staff to do the work, and you lock yourself into doing the work.
3. Changing policy due to one team member
This situation occurs when the manager implements measures that affect the entire team rather than confronting and helping the one problem team member. If one person is the problem, deal with that person—not the team.
4. Failing to deal with problems in hopes they will disappear on their own
Sometimes, problems might disappear on their own. However, many won’t, especially if they’re people problems. Managers need to tackle these issues proactively or help employees gain the skills to address the issues themselves.
5. Not making time for the team
Managers are always pressed for time. There’s always something that requires their attention besides their employees. But it’s essential for managers to spend time with their employees, whether as a team or in one-on-ones and whether managing or coaching.
6. Micromanaging and nitpicking
Some managers smother their employees by nitpicking every detail. These managers need to learn to focus on results, and to achieve those results by appropriately delegating tasks and setting short-term and long-term goals.
7. Not “walking the walk”
Managers are role models. If they say one thing and do something else, employees notice. And they notice if their managers violate agreed upon norms and standards. Managers have the extraordinary opportunity and responsibility to influence employee behavior. It’s a shame to waste it.
Do managers ever do anything right? Happily, yes. Many things. Stay tuned for a post on things successful managers do well.
Did you see yourself in any of these manager mistakes? What mistakes have you observed—or endured—in the managers in your organization?