Mistakes not to make as a new manager

Being a manager for the first time can be quite nerve racking. Sometimes you may not be sure if you’re doing the right thing. Here are some common mistakes that new manager’s make and how to avoid them!

Not asking questions

Don’t get too pre-occupied speaking too much and trying to affirm your status. Rather, it’s important that you listen and ask the right questions to learn how to do your job best.

Copying people

Some managers before you might have been great! Some… not so much. Either way, whilst you can take influence from certain attributes, do not completely imitate leaders before you. Develop your own management style based on your personality and learning the preferred leadership style that your team responds to.

Making changes immediately

Don’t get ahead of yourself and try to implement changes over night. Firstly, if you’re new in the company you have to learn the business. If you’re not new in the company, just new to management, give people time to warm to you and trust you as a leader. When you have established yourself in your position it will be easier for people to work with changes rather than against them.

Letting power go to your head

Obviously, don’t become a tyrant. You have to work with your colleagues and treat them fairly. There is necessity for them to respect your decisions and delegations as well as your authority as a manager, you don’t want to be a push over, but don’t allow yourself to get carried away. Avoid micromanaging, being dismissive, being overbearing, and being rude.

Not sharing the load

In the same note, don’t think you’re the only one who can do it all. You have a team for a reason, they will be able to help you. Don’t get overprotective over tasks and make sure you learn how to delegate.

Not observing

It’s not enough to just listen, although that’s important! You also should observe body language and people’s behaviours with each other. This can help to detect unhappy employees, problem employees, where inefficiencies are happening, who works well together and so much more. Spend a lot of time observing when you begin as a manager to fully understand your team. 

Thinking you have to know it all

As a manger, you might feel the pressure to have all the answers. If someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, don’t fake it, don’t make it up and don’t lie! Simply say, ‘I’ll have to look into that for you’. You’re a manager, not an encyclopedia or google. You will still be learning things as you go and that’s fine. Just don’t compromise your honesty and integrity because you feel pressure to know more than you currently do.

Not get to know people

It’s important to socialise with your team on some level. When you know your team you not only care more and therefore work from a place of effort and compassion, but you will also learn how to navigate any difficult situations. By learning people’s personalities and interests, you can bond with them and build a loyal relationship whilst also understanding what they need from a manager. Getting to know your team is fundamental to the team working hard and functioning well. If you distance yourself from your team, people will often feel isolated and hesitant to approach you. It can cause a bad work culture, so make sure to create a good one!

Being too task oriented

You may have had to focus on sole tasks before. But as a manager, you have to view the bigger picture. What are the major goals? When you know that, you will understand what needs to be done. You will hopefully also be able to share these tasks among the team and not get consumed with them yourself. This will help avoid stress!

Being too self-involved

Try not to overwhelm yourself with questions of if you’re a good manager. It’s not all about you, in fact as a manager, you’re leading others whilst serving them at the same time. Don’t forget to protect your employees and show loyalty. Simultaneously, don’t avoid dealing with employees who are causing problems. If you are too self-involved you might miss what’s going on around you. Be present and be aware of yourself and others.

Saying yes to too much

You may want to impress everyone and prove your worth as a manager. But don’t take on too much work. Not only will you stress yourself out, you might also end up not delivering on projects. Then the opposite of what you wanted to happen will happen and people will question your position. Know your limits, and your teams limits too.

Holding back (making decisions, avoiding change etc)

Lastly, don’t be afraid to take action. Don’t hold back. Make the tough decisions, don’t avoid change completely, deal with things head on. You have been chosen as a manager because someone saw potential in you to lead, and to help shape or keep a team efficiently functioning. Don’t forget that. You may make mistakes a long the way, but you will learn from them. You might even become a better leader.

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