Every new manager wants to be the most impactful, pro-active, hands on manager there is, however, there is a lot of common mistakes that they make. A lot of these mistakes happen while the manager is still in the stage where they are gaining experience and learning the ropes. Being a successful manager is about being a jack of all trades, being able to manage people, emotions and workloads. A good way to think of this process is of a marathon, you just have to keep going no matter how far you have left.
In this article I will be going over some of the more common traps that new managers fall into and how you can avoid them.
Burning Yourself Out
One of the things that new managers tend to do when they move into the role is to try to take on a whole load of tasks and start implementing too many rushed decisions. This approach is similar to diving headfirst into a hay stack with needles. It should be avoided as much as possible; if you are a new manager, you should definitely take it slow and absorb the company as much as you can. If you have to consult other people in order to make informed decisions, do so until you are comfortable enough to control matters in your own hands.
Not Being Supportive Enough
As mentioned earlier, being a successful manager involves being a jack of all trades; I said this because as a new manager, you will have to interact with a wide variety of employees. Some of these employees will require help from you, whether it be some guidance, feedback, some personal issues or technical feedback, it will then come down to how prepared you are to help your employees out.
A large part of being a manager is similar to being a mentor; people will come to you looking for answers. Making yourself available for your employees is key to integrating in the team, a lot of managers get too tied up in their office with their work and forget to socialise with colleagues and their team. Getting to know your team is one way to gain trust and their support.
Failing to Define Goals
Making sure everybody is working towards a task is very important, employees that understand what they have to do and why they are doing something are much more likely to be productive throughout the day. Although it may not be your job to create a complete “to do” list for everybody that you are working for, make sure your team understands what the overall goal is. Depending on how many people you are managing, you can then delegate the micromanagement to the relevant managers of certain departments, which takes off the workload off you but allows a more designated person to take care of it.
Lack of Confidence
Sylvia Plath once said “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”, becoming a manager will lead to self-doubt at times due to the pressure involved, every decision you make will have a positive or negative impact and that responsibility is something you must have to deal with. Being sure in your actions shows not only that you are confident in your decision making, but also it reassures your team that you are ready to handle tasks that come your way. It’s hard to get people to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
It is important to see the big picture in everything that you do, however, in some situations it is more beneficial to look deeper at what you can do from the bottom up. If there are issues that are rising within your team, rather than ignoring them, try to navigate to the root of the problem.
Making sure your employees are satisfied is essential to being a manager; a recent study from the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity.
To conclude, many of these tips will be learnt naturally as you progress through your managerial role. If you have not been on any professional management skills courses, it would be wise to attend some as they will help you gain a deep insight. This article should have helped you prepare for some of the obstacles that may come in the way of completing your marathon.