Are you guilty of these 5 mistakes new managers make?

Let’s first get this out of the way. I’m all for making mistakes. Fear of making mistakes is one of the reasons Black women hold themselves back from reaching for senior positions. By all means make mistakes, however, be open to feedback and be willing to learn and work with others. Here are 5 mistakes managers make that negatively impact the work environment and make it harder for a team to reach cohesion.

1. Not Realising the Power you Hold as a Manager.

We all know the cliche that says “people leave managers not companies” which I tend to agree with. It is true that one’s relationship with one direct manager is one of the most important relationships in one’s life. An individual that you see perhaps from 9-5 that makes decisions that directly impact your career has a huge bearing on the mental health of both parties. As a manager, be mindful of your power to impact the mental health of your subordinates. Tread respectfully, people’s lives and families are at stake.

2. Micro-Managing

Switching from a specialist role where your performance was mainly based on your own actions to now performing through others can be a challenge. Letting go of the need to control everything and learning to trust others may take some time but it has to be done. Your subordinates need to know that you trust them and that you think they are competent enough to do the job they were employed to do. They need to be allowed to exercise their competence with your support, not by your overbearing actions. Exceptions are for new employees who need more support while learning the ropes.

3. Inability to Delegate.

Linked to the same reason for micromanagement is the inability to delegate. This could be because you don’t trust others to handle the load or you are just used to working hard and have the need to appear busy to feel valued in your position. What you don’t realize is that while your head is down in the details, you are missing the bigger picture. You are unable to strategically influence your company through your position. The same tactics that got you into management positions are not the ones that will take you to senior leadership.

4. Not Realising The Tone You Set.

Even if you and your team work for the worst company, As a manager you are able to create an environment that somewhat insulates your team to create the best environment for everyone to excel in their position. You can create an environment of collaboration where people feel valued for their contribution and competence or you can do the opposite. Your leadership also sets the tone for the performance standards that are required of your subordinates and how those tasks get done.

5. Being All About The Job.

Your role as a manager is more than just issuing instructions and ensuring performance. Your role is also that of a support system for your subordinates. They need to know that even though the highest level of performance is expected of them and will be firmly enforced; they can always come to you for support to reach those standards. They can let you know when they are not doing well and will be supported.

Be careful that you don’t unintentionally create an environment that is unpleasant for your team.

Your role, in the long run, impact the growth capacity of the members of your team. They are not just there to do the job, they are there to learn and grow and they need to be exposed to opportunities that stretch them. When you don’t align yourself to push, compromise, and delegate work, you are holding yourself and the team back altogether. 

Published by Busisiwe Hlatswayo

MBA (Henley), Career Coach and Founder Black Women in the workplace www.blackwomenintheworkplace.com

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