The 4 Management Mistakes You Should Avoid Making

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We’ve all been there.

Whether it’s during the start up phase with only one or two employees, to running a multi-tiered business during your peak season; when you’re busy and your concentration and judgement lapses, you can easily make some very costly mistakes when it comes to managing your team.

Or perhaps you’re making these faux pas subconsciously?

Either way, to be an effective leader and encourage a positive work environment, be sure not to make these 4 major management mistakes.

1. Being everyone’s friend.

It’s great to be liked. It’s even better to be loved. Employees who are loyal are often far more productive and have higher levels of job satisfaction.

Chumming up to your staff might seem like a great way to win their trust, but overdo it, and in the end they’ll see you more as a friend than a boss. And the scales should always be tipped in the favour of “Boss”, as much as you might hate it.

Even the most reliable staff can get too “relaxed” in an environment with no rules.

Yes, it’s great to be everyone’s friend. There’s no better feeling than having a team that trusts you with their secrets, and laughs and jokes with you at work. But too many of those, and you’ll start seeing more time-off, tardiness and early finishes (amongst other things) – all because they think “the boss will be cool with it. We’re besties!”

By that stage, your friendship with your staff will only make it even harder to reprimand them for this behavior!

2. Understanding that personal issues and work issues do not mix.

A lot of the time, managers can be so caught up in their own personal affairs, they can negatively impact their businesses with lack of focus and professionalism brought on by the personal issue.

We are all human and we all have our own problems outside of work, but making sure those two borders aren’t crossed is key to staying on track with your business.

If you’re going through a rough patch and you think it might affect your quality of work and leadership, it’s a good idea to give your staff a heads-up. Something simple to let them know you’re going through personal issues, so might be harder to reach/have to duck out to regroup/take a day off and so on, will suffice.

But don’t go Oprah Winfrey on the matter and start delving into the details. Your staff doesn’t need to (or necessarily want to) know about your personal life.


3. Not utilizing your more capable staff

Micromanagement. Compartmentalizing. Delegating.

Whatever you want to call it, if the work load is getting too big and you’re not asking/assigning more tasks to your more capable staff, this can be detrimental in twofold:

• You’re missing a golden opportunity to show a staff member that they have potential to do more than their usual 9 to 5 and give their role more value; and

• By tackling the work load alone, you’ve booked yourself a one-way ticket to “Burnoutsville” where you will more than likely encounter more personal issues (less time at home, sleep deprivation, etc), which will then lead back to point 2 and the whole scenario can get out of hand very quickly.

Hiring the right help (and getting out of their way so they can do the job they were hired for) can grow your business faster than trying to do everything yourself.

4. Complaining

I’ve saved the biggest no-no for last.

There will ALWAYS be complaints in the workplace. From automotive garages to web design businesses to physiotherapy clinics to ice cream parlours, complaints will always be present.

But as a manager, those complaints should be coming from your staff – not from you.

A manager’s role should be the problem-solver. The one who comes up with the answers, or at least motivate the staff to come up with the answers. Yes of course you will have your own problems, but complaining in the workplace, especially to your staff, will not only do nothing to solve the issue, but it will make you lose credibility.

If you MUST air your grievances to someone as a manager, as Tom Hanks’ character in “Saving Private Ryan” so astutely asserted “Complaints go up, not down”. Make sure you’re talking to someone in a position to help you with your issue (i.e. senior manager, bank manager, land lord, etc) otherwise we all just have a big whinge session with nothing but decreased morale to show for it.

Work Smarter, Not Harder, By…

Understanding your role as a manager and don’t let day to day emotions get in the way.

There is a fine line between being a friendly manager, and a powerless friend. Don’t push the boundaries and make it hard for yourself to make the tough decisions.

Do you have any other hints for being a work place manager or have you learned a thing or two which your time in the trenches?

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