Being a successful leader isn’t easy. If you find yourself being promoted to a managerial position, the new responsibilities can be overwhelming. You need to equip your team with the tools and knowledge to get their work done, resolve workplace conflicts, listen to their problems, and maintain effective communication throughout.
There are many mistakes that leaders, both experienced and new, fall into, resulting in reduced productivity, poor communication, and tension amongst the team. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re the CEO of Apple, owner of Swyftx Crypto Exchange, or team leader at Burger King, the foundations of leadership are the same. If you would like to improve your leadership skills, you must avoid these five common mistakes.
Not providing feedback
As a leader, you are like the captain of a ship. Your crew performs the hard work of raising the sails or stoking the furnaces, but you are there to ensure everyone does their job and the ship arrives at its destination. If someone isn’t doing their job properly, the boat goes off course and results in disaster. In your management role, you need to keep your team on track and identify any problems before they arise. If someone is failing to meet their targets or you feel their work could do with improvement, let them know. They may not realize they are falling short and will most likely benefit from the opportunity to improve their performance.
Not setting boundaries
Being a manager can be difficult, especially when the people you are managing are your friends. It can be awkward to reprimand them for shoddy work, and you may find yourself being overly friendly and unprofessional. It’s important to distinguish your role as a friend and your role as a boss. You want to be approachable and liked, but you also need to assert your leadership. If the lines blur too much, you may find people taking advantage of your good nature.
Not setting an example
Sometimes, the nature of the work means you have to ask people to do things they don’t want to do. Maybe they have to work through lunch to meet a deadline or refrain from making personal calls during office hours. Even though you’re the boss, you don’t want to seem like you’re exempt from these rules. If they stay late, you should stay late too. If one office rule applies to your team, it should also apply to you.
Some managers don’t trust their team to do the most important jobs effectively, so they ultimately take on more work than they can handle. But leadership doesn’t mean taking on the hard work; it means ensuring the work gets done. By delegating important jobs to your team, this frees you up to focus on the areas of the business that need the most attention.
Not motivating your team
Do you want an employee who clocks in every day for the money without taking any pleasure in their work? Or one who is passionate about what they do, loves coming to the office, and is a pleasure to work with? If you don’t adequately motivate your team to do well, the job just becomes a daily grind, and your team’s productivity will suffer as a result. Praise your staff for their victories, reward their efforts with social events, give them more responsibility, and offer flexible working patterns. This way, they will get more from their job than just a paycheck and will strive to work that little bit harder for you.
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