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Common Mistakes That Managers Make

August 14, 2016

As a new manager, you are bound to make mistakes. These can manifest themselves in the form of a lapse in judgment, second-guessing oneself or making a decision that results in potential consequences for yourself, staff members or the company as a whole. However, these things happen, and when they do, you shouldn’t let them stifle your progress. The most critical function of a manager is learning from your errors and using these instances to advance both your personal and professional growth.

How can you better prepare for a new managerial role? What are some of the most common mistakes that most new managers are apt to make? Here is a short list of the pitfalls you can avoid to become a successful and effective manager:

Refusal to Seek Counsel From Experienced Managers: When you’re new to management, it can be difficult to know where to turn for advice, and in many cases, it’s common to feel that it’s permissible to learn as you go and not ask for helpful tips or suggestions. But it’s important to remember that it’s okay to ask questions if you don’t know something. Because you’re new to being a manager, you can seek the advice and wisdom of those who have been in this role before you and even from your direct supervisor. Don’t be afraid to contact a former manager, your current boss or a colleague you admire to offer you mentoring opportunities. By seeking advice and insight from those with more extensive managerial experience, you can identify and develop your own managerial skills, allowing you to shine in your new position and start off on the right foot.

Being a Micromanager: Establishing yourself as a manager can sometimes inhibit you from allowing those in your charge to use their skills and abilities in the most effective manner possible. This may cause you to appear overbearing, which can have a detrimental effect on those you’ve been designated to oversee. This is especially true if you’ve been promoted to a management position over your former peers. While it’s your job to be in control and ensure things are orderly, you need to ease yourself and your employees into your new way of doing things. Don’t rush them; allow for time to adapt to a new environment, and things may run much smoother.

Overhauling Preexisting Processes: Many new managers will try to make vast, sweeping changes at the onset of their new role. But it’s important to understand the way that your company already does things. When implementing changes, you should make them small and subtle, and only do so when you feel they are absolutely necessary. Don’t try to overhaul an entire process the moment you step foot in your position. Not only will this rub people the wrong way, it’ll also put them under a lot of pressure to alter the way they’ve become accustomed to working over time. Take some time in your initial week to audit or oversee “what” the individuals on the team do daily, so you can better understand their unique roles and contributions to the team. If you see an opportunity where changes can be made to improve productivity or efficiency, introduce them gradually, and allow employees time to get used to the new adjustments and integrate them into their workflow.

Shunning the Education That Can Help You Succeed: One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a managerial role is by enrolling in an MBA program. This is a valuable degree that can help you learn the skills needed to effectively manage all aspects of a business, including successfully guiding employees toward their goals. Continued education, attending workshops and conferences or seeking a mentor from your executive team can also help you sustain and enhance your managerial skills.