Being a newbie at anything is hard.
The learning curve can feel steep.
We go through a host of emotions.
And we make a lot of mistakes.
As a new manager you are probably experiencing some of what I mentioned above.
We all do. It’s part of the learning process.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that we have to make all the mistakes in order to learn.
Sometimes part of the learning process is learning from other people’s mistakes so that we don’t make the same errors.
In today’s video I’m sharing some of the most common mistakes I have seen newbie managers make that kill their credibility. In fact these are the things I wish someone would have pointed out at the time where I was going wrong so I didn’t have to go through the pain of failing and having to pick myself up.
Would you prefer to read rather than watch? Not to worry! You can read the blog post below.
But first, to really help you stand out in your new role I highly recommend downloading the New Manager Starter Kit. A free downloadable interactive guide to help you show up and stand out and take the right action steps.
5 Actionable Steps for New Managers
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Are you making these mistakes as a manger?
New Manager Mistake Number #1 – Not being direct enough
So many first time managers find themselves in the position where they are not being direct enough with team members, colleagues or even their boss for one of two reasons
It’s either a fear of confrontation (which I totally understand)
Or an overwhelming desire to be liked (which I 100% understand) I mean who doesn’t like to be liked right?
Anyways, these two drivers usually lead to avoiding the hard truths and oftentimes it’s the hard truths that need to be said.
But when a manager neglects to speak the truth and either steps away from the conversation or sugar coats the truth well that leads to a host of problems.
For example, a manager that is not direct with team members will often find that their team members are confused and end up delivering poorly as a result.
Not to mention the serious hit to team morale.
Remember everyone is watching what you do.
Choosing to either let something go or sugar coat the issue sends 2 messages.
To the high performer the message is that performance doesn’t matter and to a high performer that’s a big issue because they care about their deliverables. Plus most high achievers don’t want to work with a bunch of people that aren’t cutting it.
The second message is for the poor performers that they can continue to perform poorly because you won’t stand up and hold them to any standard.
Oh and make no mistake, a manager that makes the mistake of not being direct or dealing with the issues loses the respect of the boss because trust me your ability to do this is being watched.
New Manager Mistake Number #2 – Micromanagement and Macromanagement
So I think we all know how annoying and detrimental it is to work for a micromanager yet it happens all the time particularly for first time managers.
There are a number of root causes of micromanagement at such an early stage of leadership but the most common reason is because quite often a new manager gets thrust into a role with little to no training and because of that they have little to no idea how to delegate, train and trust team members with work.
And so they end up doing pretty much everything on their own and anything that belongs to team members is watched super carefully because they don’t understand the role is to actually help their team members achieve results.
Macromanagement is another mistake that happens. Not as frequently as the micromanagement but it does happen and that’s usually tied into the leadership style of the individual leading.
But macromanagement is basically when a manager leaves the team on their own to just figure it out.
Have you ever been on a team where there is absolutely no direction to the point where you are like whose in charge here?
That’s usually because that manager has adopted this very liaise fair way of leading the team.
Now I’m a huge fan of autonomy – trust me – but at the same time direction is required for consistent outcomes so for a number of reasons macromanagement is also damaging to all involved.
New Manager Mistake Number #3 – Not preparing for challenging or difficult situations
Now I know that we can never really know exactly what’s going to happen, but part of coming out strong on the other end of any situation is having a plan.
One of the most important things I teach my students in the new manager accelerator is how to prepare for a challenging conversation.
In fact there are two full lessons on this and it involves having a handle on the lean in words to use, the words that raise the defences to stay away from, the body language to be mindful of and how to describe the specific issue.
Difficult conversations are going to happen and you would be far less stressed and anxious if you plan out what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it so that you can have the impact you want to have.
The whole point of having the conversation is to see a change, but change is only possible when the conversation is handled correctly.
So again take the time to prepare for all difficult conversations.
A suggestion I make to my students is to role play. Pick someone you are comfortable with and then role play the conversation with them.
New Manager Mistake Number #4 – Not spending time with the team
Now I’m not saying that you have to be BFF’s with your team members.
What I am saying is that you should at least know them.
Managers that do not know their team members are unable to earn respect, build trust and as a result they lack the results.
It’s virtually impossible for sustained outcomes with people you don’t know.
I mean yah sure, people will do what you say for a limited amount of time because you are the “boss” but that has a limited shelf life.
In order for you to be truly effective at placing people where they are at their best, and helping people improve their work and implementing changes requires you to know them.
To help you combat some of these most common mistakes I have a free resource for you called the New Manager Starter Kit.
This toolkit will really help set you up for success by walking you through some of the most important aspects of team leadership that you should be focused on at this time. I encourage you to go through it, answer the question prompts and make it part of your strategy moving forward!
The Ultimate Guide to Being an Effective Team Leader
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