5 Management Mishaps that Might be Holding You Back


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Do you think you've adopted a good management style? You might be making these five mistakes without even realizing it.

Article 4 Minutes
5 Management Mishaps that Might be Holding You Bac

Everyone likes to think they're a good manager, but has your management style adopted some of the most common mishaps?

It's easy to think you're using the right strategy for your team but this may not be the case. In fact, things you might think are good management techniques could actually be making employees less productive and could even be jeopardizing your long-term relationship with them.

Here are some of the most common mistakes managers make, which can be counterproductive for employees:

1. Micromanaging

There's a lot to be said for guiding employees and being there to support them; it's one of your main responsibilities as a manager. But this shouldn't come at the expense of autonomy. Your team will flourish if you allow them to use their initiative and take responsibility for their own actions.

Micromanaging their every move is not only time-consuming for you, but can lead to employees feeling unconfident in their own critical thinking abilities. Instead, you want to encourage them to make their own decisions and position yourself as a point of support should they feel unqualified or unsure about something.

This frees up your time to "fight fires" on the most important tasks, making more valuable use of your time and allowing your team the freedom to evolve as professionals.

2. Missing warning signs

Whether it's personal problems with other colleagues, an issue on a particular project, or even trouble with their mental or physical health, you need to be aware of what's going on in your team.

It's important that you know your team well, and that they feel comfortable communicating with you about any problems they may be experiencing, whether on a project or not. Identifying these warning signs before they become more significant issue saves your company money and you and your team a lot of stress.

3. Coddling employees

Much like micromanaging, it can be an easy mistake to think that offering as much support as possible to your employees will only benefit them. However, coddling your team members will actually suffocate them professionally. People need to have the space to make their own decisions about their work.

Whether this is the freedom to work from home when they need to, dictate their own office hours, or manage their workload in the way that suits them best, allowing employees to operate how they want to will make them more productive.

Often your team will need you to just leave them to their own devices. Instead of coddling them, ensure you are having regular catch-ups to check how they're doing and identify the goals they want to achieve. This will allow you to best identify the ways you can help them to do so.

4. Protecting them from mistakes

Often managers want to protect their team from making mistakes. It makes sense. You prevent them from risking revenue or jeopardizing an account, and avoid them suffering from the drop in confidence that often results from making an error at work. However, by doing this you're also depriving them of the self-development that only occurs after a mistake.

It's also possible that the steps you take to prevent them from making a mistake could actually stop them from innovating or enjoying great success. Instead of doing this, advise your team based on your experience, but encourage them to use their own judgement.

This will promote critical thinking in the employees you manage and help them learn from any mistakes they do make. If they are blindly following your advice, professionals will struggle to see the true cause and implications of the mistake, making it much harder for them to prevent it in the future.

5. More heads-on, than hands-on management

These common mishaps all highlight a change in management style in the modern workplace. Most employees won't benefit from - and don't want - someone breathing down their neck constantly or telling them what to do with every second of their time. Teams that are able to work more autonomously are more productive and happier in their roles.

Encouraging the employees you manage to think for themselves and giving them the freedom to act on their initiative, will ensure you have the best professionals on your team and that they want to stay there.

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