When you’ve built your experience up enough and proven you’re qualified, you might make the large leap into management. Learning the fundamentals of being a manager are typically picked up quickly. However, some mistakes are difficult to see, let alone correct. Here are some errors that can throw you off your management game before you get going if you don’t correct them fast.
Many people unconsciously communicate through their body language in addition to their words. If you’re a new manager, you might be so focused on listening to your employees that you aren’t noticing their actions. If you’ve assigned a team member with a challenging assignment and ask how it’s going, they’re likely to respond with “good,” or “fine.” It’s important to notice if there are any signs of anxious behavior such as fidgeting with their fingers or avoiding eye contact. Follow up with any observations you make by asking supportive questions that can help you help them succeed.
Fake it to Make It
As a new manager, no one expects you to know everything, and no one is going to judge you if you seek clarification on certain things. Your boss is there for a reason. If there’s something you aren’t sure of, ask him or her. It’s better than pretending like you know the answer, providing your team with incorrect information, and then botching a project because of it.
No one likes a micromanager, and there’s a massive difference between monitoring progress and micromanaging. As a manager, you need to trust in your team as they trust you. A good boss lets their team know that it’s okay to ask questions when needed, but that you trust them to complete the job. Micromanaging your staff might lead to losing valuable employees. Instead of hovering, set up regular check-ins, and provide a path for your team to come to you.
Losing Sight of the Bigger Picture
Of course, you want your team to run as smoothly as possible, but you shouldn’t only focus on that. As a manager, ensure that you look past meeting your goals, so you can understand how your team works with the mission and functions of the entire company. Once you share the information with your staff, they have a better understanding of the contributions they are making, and therefore make better decisions.
Treating Everyone the Same
It’s essential to treat your staff fairly, but treating people the same is a common rookie mistake. All people are unique in their own way, and your staff members are going to want you to see them for who they are, and the individual talents that they bring to the table. Make a solid effort to understand what matters to your staff. It’s also important to take the time to get to know your employees so that you can be professionally friendly. Learn the terms that work best for your staff, so you can build a solid team that fully trusts you.
As a new manager, you’re likely focused on doing a good job to impress your boss and build a relationship with your new team. Always remember to spend time communicating with your boss like you expect your employees to communicate with you. Don’t assume that because your boss knows how to manage your position, that they know how to lead you.
Mistakes are inevitable. Whether it’s in life, or as a new manager, you’re going to make them. Making mistakes isn’t wrong, and it’s usually how you learn. The most important thing is that you don’t let them keep you down. If you find yourself making any mistakes, get up, dust yourself off, and try again. If you feel that you’re really struggling in your new role, take a step back, and think about asking your boss or Human Resources for help. They trusted in you enough to give you the position; now it’s time to believe in yourself.