This is a guest post by Sophie Eagan. She is a leadership writer for 360 Degrees Feedback. Sophie has worked in HR since she was just 16 years old, she knows full well the common leadership mistakes that can be made by leaders. She has specific experience in leadership feedback and regularly emphasizes the importance of requesting feedback from within ones own company to identify problems before they arise.
A lot of people do say that it is better to make leadership mistakes as these provide the perfect learning curve, though it is much better to make these mistakes away from the field, or even making them in the first place! I am going to discuss the most common leadership mistakes and management errors, this should hopefully deter you from making the same mistakes, if you can learn about that here in this article, rather than through experience you will save yourself a lot of trouble.
1. The Absence Of Feedback
Let’s say, you have a fantastic sales representative, but they have a habit of answering the phone in an unprofessional manner. You do know about this but would much prefer to wait for the review to come up so you can bring it up. This is a big problem, until they have actually been told about the problem, they will continue to do the exact same thing, putting off potential customers. By not providing the correct feedback you are actually starving your staff of the opportunity to improve their performance.
2. Having No Time For The Team
Being a manager or a leader of a team, you can sometimes wrap yourself up so much in your own work that you do not have time for the team what so ever. Everyone has deadlines and projects they need to hand in on time, it is not just you! Without proper guidance and support, none of your team will actually know what to do and therefore won’t meet any of their objectives, which can put certain projects behind for weeks or even months! You can avoid this mistake by making blocks in your schedule solely for your team, you want your door to “always be open”.
3. Don’t Be “Hands-Off”
This is the same as above and what can happen if you do not take note of #2-3! Let’s say a team member has completed the project on time, but he did not fully understand the specifications of the project properly because you didn’t stay in touch with him during the project progress, now you will have to deal with an angry client and explain why the project is now delayed! A lot of managers and leaders avoid the micromanagement style, but going the opposite way and going hands-off is not a great idea either, you need to balance it out and meet in the middle.
4. Too Much On The Friendly Side
All managers and team leaders would like to be seen as very friendly in the workplace, people are much happier when the environment is on a happy vibe. However, you will eventually have to make tough decisions within the team and some people may take advantage of the kind nature you are airing out, especially if you are too friendly with them. This does not mean you cannot socialise with them or your bosses, it simply means you need to find the right balance here and separate social life from work.
5. Failing To Provide Exact Goals
When your team do not have clear goals things can go wrong very quickly and sometimes these cannot be recovered on time for deadlines. They cannot be productive and use their full potential if they do not have the correct information in front of them, they can’t prioritize their workloads either. So make sure you provide all information that is needed and make it really clear this will cut out problems down the line that may arise.
We all make mistakes, it is only human after all. Learning from mistakes can be a great thing for experience, this can be a great learning curve. Taking the time to learn the basic mistakes so you can avoid them will see you power through projects easily without making the common mistakes, you will also be highly respected by your team.