The Most Common Mistakes Managers Make – PART 4
In the last article we discussed some managerial mistakes that damage reputation and interpersonal relationships of managers and leaders, and ultimately lead to their failure. However, that was not a full list of what research shows as the most common causes of such outcomes. Here you may find six further management mistakes, which might even be more detrimental for the managers themselves, but also painful for their employees.
6. They are often angry, annoyed and easily upset
The managers of this kind often employ in their work an energetic approach. 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 an optimism just boils down to a pessimism and a loss of motivation.
The most important thing is to capture the moment when the mood is starting to change – this way you can learn how to recognize and then control these changes sonner they get out of hand. Once you do that, step away from the situation that is causing your frustration, wait for 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 also a realistic view of the new ideas you are excited about – everything good always comes with numeral downsides, setbacks and problems, however that does not mean it is not a worthy idea to pursue.
7. They avoid giving honest feedback, however in private they are resentful and irritated
Cooperation makes a vital ingredient in a 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 who don’t, end up promising a lot, but under-deliver. The biggest challenge here is to learn how to say ‘No’ and to admit that it is OK. Failing to do so will only result in being annoyed with other people’s requests. Keep in mind that those requests will be coming until you speak your mind. Yes, you can procrastinate and hope that people might just give up, or the deadline would magically disappear, but doing so is going to lead to bad relations that you wanted to avoid in the first place. In addition the unfinished 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. They are overconfident and feel privileged, at the same time they refuse to take responsibility for mistakes
Some managers have a reputation of being confident and not easily discouraged by setbacks, with a 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.
The first step in managing these traits is to admit that others can be right, too. Listen to them – however knowledgeable you might think you are, no one is right all the time. The second step is accepting that negative information is just that – the 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 work together towards a common goal. Acknowledge that, give people credit, celebrate the success and stick together at stressful times – the competition is out there, not near you.
Last but not least: when facing a problem, take responsibility for it and focus on getting it fixed. Later on analyze what had caused it, accept your part in it if there was any and admit it. Your subordinates will respect you even more for that – it needs courage to admit ‘I was wrong’.
9. They dominate meetings and make their subordinates feel their opinions are not needed
Who wouldn’t like to work for an interesting, entertaining, active, energetic and charming manager? There are definitely some that would raise their hand to this question. Such employees probably work for managers who exploit their good traits, dominate, and seek the spotlight in every opportunity they get. These managers tend to forget that others also have something to say – they are the ones talking during every meeting, not letting others speak their mind, or not listening when they do manage to step on the stage beside them.
The biggest challenge these managers face is to accept and be comfortable with not being in the center of attention. If someone speaks, try not to interrupt them. First go through your response in your head – listen actively and paraphrase when they are done – show that their opinion is important and appreciated, too.
The second challenge is to detect your tendency to show off and what impact it has on your team members. They like you, and there is no need for exaggeration – it will have an opposite impact than you are hoping to achieve.
10. They generate a lot of ideas, but rarely follow up on them or make sure they get executed
Managers who approach business and problem solving innovatively, can achieve a lot. In their team one can expect the excitement of the unknown and genius breakthroughs in their field of business. Such managers ca foresee the future, they think big and put a lot of emotions in their solutions. On the other hand they cannot stand boredom and they are not interested whatsoever in such things as structure, rules and implementation.
However, 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 who won’t understand you unless you provide them with this – ask them for a 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 too 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 a strategy for implementation together.
11. They are bogged in details, reluctant to delegate tasks and overly critical to their subordinates
Focus on detail, precision and orderliness are the traits that ensure quality and add an extra value to every manager’s work. However, when these traits define their “modus operandi”, a big challenge lays ahead of them. Insisting that everything must be perfect, they tend to take everything on themselves, not trusting their subordinates to be able to meet their high standards. When they do delegate it is often accompanied by criticism and eventually the delegated tasks find their way back to them.
Mastering delegating techniques is the first and the biggest challenge for these managers. It starts with choosing a right person to delegate a task to, and it is followed with clearly set goals, follow ups, constructive feedback and resisting temptation to do it one one´s own. It ends with accepting an outcome even though it may not meet all your standards (since no task that hasn’t been done by you, will ever meet). Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it is not good. Progressively choose more important tasks to delegate and change the persons you give the tasks to. Thus you will nurture balance in the workflow and give everyone a chance to prove one´s worth and contribute.
In our next article we will conclude with explanations behind these most common managerial mistakes and the reasons why they happen so often in the first place. Stay tuned!