In the last article we have discussed some of the common mistakes which damage the reputation and interpersonal relationships of managers and leaders, and ultimately lead to their failure. However, that was not the full list of what research shows are the most common causes of such outcomes. Here are 6 more common management mistakes, which might even be more detrimental for the managers themselves, but also painful for their employees
6. Are often angered, annoyed and easily upset
Energetic approach is a characteristic that these types of managers often employ in their work. They tend to be very driven and enthusiastic about projects and know how to transfer that positive vibe to their team.
Problem occurs when this energy turns to series of moody outbursts and optimism just boils down to pessimism and loss of motivation.
The most important thing is to capture the moment when the change of mood starts – this way you can learn to recognize and then control these changes before they get out of hand. Once you do, step away from the situation that is causing your frustration, wait for the emotional reactions to calm down and respond only when you are ready to react in a constructive way. In time, the necessary time-outs will become shorter. Also, keep your positive attitude towards work, but try to keep a realistic view of the new ideas you are excited about – everything good always comes with a set of downsides, setbacks and problems, but that does not mean it is not still a valuable idea to pursue.
7. Avoid giving honest feedback, but are privately resentful and irritated
Cooperation makes a crucial ingredient in the recipe for a successful team, and managers are the ones who should set an example for their employees. Managers should know how to be cooperative and productive at the same time, and they should be able to set healthy boundaries.
Those that don’t, end up promising a lot, but under-deliver. The biggest challenge here is to learn how to say ‘No’ and accept that it is ok. Failing to do so will result in being annoyed with other people’s requests, and keep in mind that they will keep coming as long as you don’t speak your mind. Yes, you can procrastinate and hope that people will just give up, or a deadline will magically disappear, but doing so will lead to bad relations that you wanted to avoid in the first place and the tasks will just keep piling up. Speak up and be direct when you do, people will still respect you if you provide them with an explanation. And then you can organize your time by priorities at your own pace, and nurture healthy relations and cooperation.
8. Are overconfident and feel entitled, but avoid taking responsibility for mistakes
Some managers have a reputation of being confident and not easily discouraged by setbacks, with clear focus on leading their teams to success, but when faced with a problem or failure they tend to blame others for their mistakes. These managers tend to ignore their limitations and tune out the negative information. Their strong presence and dominant attitude give them the upper hand in following their own reason and not acknowledging the opinions of others.
First step in managing these traits is to admit that others can be right also. Hear them out - however knowledgeable you might think you are, no one is right all the time. Second step is accepting that negative information is just that - information that can provide you with the upper hand and even help you achieve your goal. Be open for the things you don’t like hearing and explore the ways you can use them to your advantage. Also, keep in mind that you are a part of the team, you are working together on a common goal. Acknowledge that, give people credit, celebrate the success and stick together in times of stress - the competition is out there, not around you.
Last but not least: when faced with a problem, take responsibility for it and focus on getting it fixed. Later on analyze what caused it, accept your part in it if there was any and admit it. Your subordinates will respect you even more for that- it takes courage to say ‘I was wrong’.
9. Dominate meetings and make their subordinates feel their opinions are not needed
Who wouldn’t want to work for an interesting, entertaining, active, energetic and charming manager? There are some that would raise their hand to this question, and they are working for managers who exploit their good traits, dominate, and seek the spotlight every opportunity they get. These managers tend to forget that others also have something to say - they are the ones talking through every meeting, not letting others speak their mind, or not listening when they do manage to step on the stage besides them.
The biggest challenge these managers face is accepting and being comfortable with not being in the center of attention. If someone speaks, try not to interrupt them or going through your response in your head- listen actively and paraphrase when they are done- show that their opinion is important and valued also.
The second challenge is to recognize your tendency to show off and what impact it has on you team members. They like you, and there is no need for exaggeration - it will have the opposite result than you are hoping to achieve.
10. Generate a lot of ideas, but rarely follow up on them or make sure they get executed
Managers that approach business and problem solving with innovation, can achieve a lot. In their team one can expect the excitement of the unknown and genius breakthroughs in their field of business. These managers see the future, they are thinking big and put a lot of emotions in their solutions. On the other hand they cannot bare boredom, and things like structure, rules and implementation don’t interest them.
Without a structure and implementation processes your ideas cannot be executed, it is as simple as that. Yes, it is boring, it takes long, and there are some people that won’t understand you unless you provide them with this - ask them for feedback and you will see. Embrace the boring part, make friends with it and find a way to work together. Your passion can have a motivating factor but use it wisely, when you’re explaining your new approach, be specific and practical, and avoid being so abstract. Give others a moment to grasp it and understand. More importantly, you are not alone. Find a person in your team that has a practical approach to things and work out the strategy for implementation together.
11. Bogged in details, reluctant to delegate and overly critical to their subordinates
Detail orientation, precision and orderliness are the traits that insure quality and add the extra value to every manager’s work. But when these traits define their modus operandi a big challenge lays ahead of them. Insisting that everything needs to be perfect, they tend to take everything on themselves, not trusting that their subordinates can meet their high standards. When they do delegate it is followed with criticism and eventually the delegated tasks finds its way back to them.
Mastering delegating techniques is the first and the biggest challenge to these managers. It starts with choosing a right person to delegate a task to, and is followed with clearly set goals, follow ups, constructive feedback and resisting the temptation to just do it yourself. It ends with accepting the outcome even though it may not meet all your standards, because no task that hasn’t been done by you ever will, but it doesn’t mean it is not good. Over time choose more important tasks to delegate and change the persons you give the tasks to. This way you will nurture balance in the workflow and give everyone a chance to prove themselves and contribute.
In our next article we will conclude with the explanations behind these most common managerial mistakes and the reasons why they happen so often in the first place. Stay tuned!