4 Common Management Mistakes You Need to Avoid (And How to Avoid Them)

Business Management team working on a laptop in Dallas

Managing isn’t easy, especially as times change and the workplace is constantly evolving. However, there are a few common management mistakes that have stood the test of time – unfortunately.

Let’s look at a few of the most common management mistakes and how to avoid them so you can keep your business growing and your employees satisfied – all while improving as a manager and a company.

Micromanaging: Bad for Your Team & You

We all know micromanaging isn’t a great management style, but it isn’t just because it burns you out by trying to do the job of everyone (though this is a negative side effect of micromanaging your team and their projects). It also annoys everyone who works under you, as they can often feel that you don’t trust them or that you doubt their abilities.

Consider if the roles were switched and you were working on a project that you have experience in and your boss required their approval for each component of your project, even if they didn’t have as much experience in it as you did.

How would you feel? Would you feel valued and trusted? Probably not.

Instead, I have found that giving your employees the space to learn, grow, and improve on their own is the best way to motivate them to become better and self-sufficient.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can take this to the extreme and be a ‘hands-off’ manager either. As in most things in life, the goal is balance. You need to know what areas need your input and approval, and which do not.

It might be a long journey to finding that perfect middle ground, and that middle ground might shift at times, too – that’s okay.

Just make sure you aren’t swinging too far to either extreme – micromanaging or non-managing – and you should be just fine.

Not Listening: Bad for Your Business & You

This is a huge problem for managers in larger companies (though small companies can suffer from this as well). This ‘not listening’ often stems from thinking you know enough, or know better, or at least that’s how your employees will look at it.

Listening can improve your business as well as yourself and your team, as there is something to learn from everyone, especially if your employees’ day looks different than your own.

Maybe they work with clients or customers more and have ideas about how to make a process more streamlined or convenient. Maybe they work with a program or online tool that you don’t have to work with, and therefore they have insights into how to improve it. Or maybe they simply have an idea or skillset you don’t have – listening will never hurt, only help, your business.

Instead of brushing off the comments, concerns, or ideas of your employees, encourage this type of dialogue and listen carefully. This will make your employees feel valued and teach them to listen better as well – to others, customers, and management.

Not Communicating: Bad for Your Team

Not communicating is different than not listening – because not listening means not being receptive to what others are saying, while not communicating means you aren’t sending out clear lines, instructions, or expectations.

A team that communicates well, from the very top of management all the way down to the new hire, is a team that will succeed.

Communication gives your employees a clear idea of what you need, what you want, and what they should be learning or building upon. This means they don’t have to stress over what you meant or what you want – and can instead do it.

Additionally, being a good communicator will make your team comfortable coming to you to ask questions which is great for both your team and your company.

Ask your team how you are at communicating and how you could be better. Touch base often in team meetings or in performance reviews both for your team and yourself, so everyone is on the same track and page.

Not Growing as a Leader: Bad for Everyone

This is a big one that many managers miss – you have to be growing and improving just as much as your team and employees have to be growing and improving.

Stagnation isn’t good at any level of a business, so work hard to improve as a leader, a business person, and an industry or thought leader.

If you aren’t constantly working at learning more about your field, researching new options, or learning about breakthroughs and trends in your industry, how can you expect your team to do it?

It’s important to remember that your team is busy too, so if you are expecting them to consistently improve and learn more, you need to be willing to do the same. Not only your business should always be working towards growth – but it’s management, too.

From Management & Sales Coaching to Other Consulting Services, Let’s Connect & Improve How Your Business Runs

I would love to connect with you and learn more about your business, management style, as well as the successes and difficulties your business is facing.

I offer management and sales coaching, business consulting services, and digital services. And with my long history of management as well as successful business planning with JSL Marketing & Web Design, I know I can help your company meet their goals, too.

Check back soon for the launch of my own website, JamesLeff.com, or find a new article here, written by me every week.

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