The best leaders weren’t always the best. There are mistakes along the way that help people to become exemplary leaders. In this article we will examine some common pitfalls that can be turned into valuable learning opportunities.
It is unrealistic to expect members of your team to perform their duties without any mistakes. This also holds true for the managers supervising that team. Being a leader is no easy task when every decision you make is scrutinized and you feel the pressure of working out solutions when things go awry. Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes that leaders make and how to avoid them.
Communicating Poorly – Poor communication is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made. Not being able to get your point across to your team can have serious implications in the success of your business. There are multiple ways that poor communication can interfere with workflow. Instructions can be misunderstood, lack of feedback on projects or tasks can negatively affect the project outcome, being unapproachable or even refusing to listen to others are all ways in which poor communication can negatively impact your team. To avoid this pitfall, enforce an open door policy with your workers but also take the initiative to check in with them. Make an effort to implement improvements based on feedback from your team so they feel their suggestions are heard and valued. Open communication enables change, which allows people to perform more efficiently.
Reacting Instead of Anticipating – There are always situations when something will happen unexpectedly and there is nothing to do but react. However, always try and be several steps ahead. Failing to see that something is going to happen isn’t necessarily a mistake, but choosing to do nothing until it’s too late is. You will make your job much easier if you anticipate all possible scenarios, preparing you to put measures in place that will mitigate adverse effects.
Delegating Badly – This mistake is often made by leaders who climb there way up to a supervisory position within the same company they started out in. It can be difficulty to transition from a hands-on role to a more hands-off one. Whether it be habit or well-intentioned help, carrying on your previous responsibilities is not your job anymore. Leaders need to focus on the overall vision and success of the organization, not the day to day tasks. This will cause you to become overwhelmed or even guilty of micromanaging members of your team.
While you are certain to make mistakes as a manager, acknowledge them and try and improve on them. Be confident in your abilities, treating your mistakes as learning opportunities and you’ll become a manager that your team looks up to.