4 Common Mistakes New Managers Make that Undermine Credibility

by Jan 21, 2016NEW MANAGER TRAINING

Mistakes New Managers Make

Despite new manager training that you have attended, and the new managerial skills that you have adopted, there are still some management situations loaded with the “proverbial banana peel” just lying in wait to slip you up as a people leader. 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 as a new supervisor.

1. Not Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
The first mistake new managers make is being too insecure in their new role as a supervisor to give credit to their team 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 appreciate the people 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 to let things fester. 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 as a new supervisor, it rarely 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. Guard against personal bias and evaluate possible solutions carefully. Invite all key stakeholders 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.

The Bottom Line

To avoid the most common mistakes by new managers, invest in new manager training, empower your team,  let high performers shine, and actively involve your team in designing where you want to go, and make wise decisions.

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