New managers are most often under a lot of pressure to prove themselves worthy of the post. And under this pressure, many new managers make a series of mistakes.
We asked a couple of experts to go through some of the missteps made by new managers.
1. Mistake: Not getting clarification. Managers think and believe that they have communicated enough to the team or that the team has heard them. Communicating on a team is just like an advertising campaign–it is all about frequency and it is never enough, says executive coach Anne Sugar.
Solution: Make it crystal clear. Define your leadership expectations of the team. Think about the top three expectations–ie. flawless execution, etc., says Sugar.
2. Mistake: Forgetting relationships matter. Managers are promoted based on being exceptional individual contributors. Not based on their people skills, says Alison Lazenby, managing director at Root Inc., a business strategies service firm.
Solution: Get training in leadership skills.
3. Mistake: Not making the most of their skills. Managers often don’t know how to leverage all their people skills simultaneously (conflict/resolution, communication, coaching, building trust, team building and delegation) as they are trained for each skill in isolation, notes Lazenby.
Solution: Get more involved. Participate in a management training program.
4. Mistake: They stop learning. Just because the goal was reached as a new manager doesn’t mean it is time to sit back. Be hungry to learn, adds Sugar.
Solution: Be proactive in explaining your own skills and knowledge. Continue to read, work hard. Find classes. Who will be your mentor? Don’t stop learning and working hard. Working hard is the key differentiator, says Sugar.
5. Mistake: Talking and not listening. Listen and ask a good question of the team, suggests Sugar. The team knows much more than the manager does in some cases.
Solution: Be curious and trust your staff to come up with great ideas and suggestions. Ask a good question. An easy way to ask questions is to start with open-ended questions: who, what, when, where, why and how? Be inquisitive and you never know what you might learn, Sugar points out.