8 Management Mistakes To Avoid

Posted March 17, 2020, by Elesha

Attention all leaders! If you want to get the best out of your team, win their respect and boost productivity, you’ll want to check out 8 of the most common management mistakes to avoid. And may ask yourself if you’re making any of them?

1 – Not Providing Feedback (And Having Difficulty Taking It!)

Giving feedback can be tough at times but if you want your team members to step up and be the best they can be in their role, you need to give feedback. If you continually overlook issues or mistakes, how can anyone improve if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong?

Don’t wait for a quarterly performance review to raise issues, be prompt on giving feedback and make sure you give guidance that is actionable. Be clear about how the issue can be resolved or behaviour improved.

Another one of the management mistakes to avoid along the same vein is not being open to receiving feedback. Don’t get defensive or emotionally shut down when one of your team brings up. You want your team to feel safe and empowered to raise issues directly with you.

2 – Wanting To Be BFFs With Your Team

A bad manager tries to be everyone’s friend. Big mistake.

You’re there to do an amazing job at leading your team – not to be their best mates. When a leader lacks boundaries and professional relationships blur into friendships it becomes impossible to effectively challenge, coach, or hold your staff accountable.

It’s your job to help them reach their highest level of potential, not be drinking beers and venting about colleagues or your personal life at Friday happy hour. 

High-performance leaders set boundaries and know how to say no. They aim to be open and approachable without compromising professional boundaries. 

The bottom line: You can be friendly with your team, sure, but prioritising friendship over leadership will doom you to management failure. 

3 – Not Making Your Professional Development A Priority

One of the major management mistakes to avoid is leaving your professional development as a leader out in the cold.

Continually upskilling is one of the best ways to get ahead in your career, even if you’re at the top in your current organisation.

Great leaders focus on improving themselves while developing the capabilities of their team. 

You’ll lead by example and win the respect of your staff when they see you constantly striving to be better at what you do and acknowledging that you can improve. This attitude will permeate your team and create a culture of excellence. 

4 – Not Setting Clearly Defined Goals

If you want to get the best out of your team, you need to set clearly defined targets and goals.  

Vague goals aren’t helpful because they don’t provide real direction, on the other hand, clear goals will show the way. Make it as easy as you can for your team to get to where you want them to go by defining exactly what the end result should look like.

Trying to accomplish too much, too quickly is one also of the management mistakes that can end in frustration for teams and their leaders. Don’t try to focus on 20 organisational goals at once, just pick 2 – 3 that will really move the dial and focus your team’s attention there.

5 – Being Too Busy For Your Team

If you want to really set yourself apart as an awesome leader, you need to give your professional time to those who need it most – your team!

Don’t fall into the trap of being too busy to reward and recognise your staff or deal with an issue they want to raise.

This doesn’t mean you need to have a 24/7 ‘open door’ policy but do take the time for them when they genuinely need it. Be all in at those times; cull distractions and actively listen and engage with them. 

Another powerful way to connect with your team is getting up from your desk and taking a stroll to chat with your team. It might seem like an aimless wander around the office but it’s actually a brilliant strategy to stay in touch with your team’s work, ideas and interests. 

6 – Micromanaging (Management Mistakes Don’t Get Worse Than This!)

Ugh. Is there anything worse than a micromanager!

Definitely one of the classic management mistakes to avoid – being a ‘helicopter’ manager will destroy your team. Signs you’re overly controlling include constantly lasering in on details, wanting to be cc’d on every email and rarely being satisfied with your team’s work.

It can be a tough habit to break but you’ve got to loosen your grip on the reigns if you want to empower your team to perform at their best. Get clear on what really matters and what doesn’t and focus on spending your energy on the ‘big ticket’ stuff, not obsessing over every single detail. 

7 – A Lack Of Transparency And Backtracking

Nothing spells ‘toxic leader’ like a manager who backtracks on decisions they made then blames their team for less than optimal outcomes.

There should be consistency around protocols and decision making. If changes need to be made, they should be part of an open dialogue with your team members – clearly communicated to everyone. 

A lack of transparency will also undermine your leadership authority and can lead to conflict and resentment building amongst the team.

8 – Not Understanding What Really Motivates Your Team

 Do you know what really motivates each of your team members on a personal level?

Not everyone is motivated by money and assuming so is a common management mistake. You really need to get inside your team’s minds to know what drives them to perform their best so you can design reward programs that really light their fire.

For example, some of your team may be striving to create more of a work-life balance. In that case, they’re likely to be more motivated by taking a flexible day or leaving work early on a Friday than a bonus in cash. 

You don’t need psychic abilities to figure out what motivates your team…just ask them! 

So, there you have it –  8 big management mistakes leaders make. If any of them ring true for you, now is the time to begin turning things around before it’s too late!


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