4 Common Mistakes New Managers Make that Undermine Credibility
Despite the new manager training you have attended and the skills you have adopted, there are still some management situations loaded with the “proverbial banana peel” just lying in wait to slip you up. Believing that fore warned is forearmed, here are a few of the more common mistakes new managers make that can undermine your credibility and effectiveness.
1. Not giving credit where credit is due.
Many new managers are insecure enough in their jobs that they are loath to give up any credit for success. Whether it’s an innovative solution to a long standing problem or the acquisition of a new and promising client, it is important to herald the person responsible. If you don’t and take credit for the success yourself, you are likely to incur resentment. It does not lessen your stature when you salute the employee who deserves the kudos; in fact, because of your humility and integrity, you increase your stature with your team and gain their loyalty.
2. Avoiding difficult conversations.
It may be human nature to put off difficult conversations, but it is not wise for managers. Problems don’t disappear; they just grow. Set up a meeting with the employee who is upset, under-performing or antagonizing team mates. Don’t assume that the complainers know the whole truth. It is up to you to find out the root cause of the unhappy situation and to create an environment to effectively move forward. Work with the employee and the team to find a solution that will work for all. It is your job to expose and solve performance problems while keeping the team engaged and on track.
3. Speeding toward solutions.
Though you may feel under pressure to make decisions quickly, it never makes sense to speed toward a decision until you have the pertinent facts and the right people involved. Sometimes the first idea seems the best just because it’s there and standing alone. But it is far better to get some space and solicit a variety of solutions from different perspectives. Climb out of your own thinking box, guard against personal bias, and evaluate possible solutions carefully. Invite the entire team to participate. It will ultimately be your decision as to which way you move, but you can feel more confident in the steps you take when you have considered all the alternatives.
4. Spoon-feeding answers.
Don’t forget that one of your main responsibilities as a manager is to grow your team. Yes, you were used to solving problems and making decisions on your own as an individual contributor. But now, you will be evaluated by the achievements of your team. Don’t give your followers all the answers. Show them some trust in allowing them the space to experiment, make mistakes, and learn from their own missteps. As your employees develop and create their own success, the team (and you as their leader) will also succeed.
Enjoy your new role as a new manager. Now you have the chance to prove you deserve the promotion. Apply what you learned in your new manager training and watch out for these four common new manager mistakes.