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Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes Managers Make

Hi there. Russell Stratton, President and Leadership Champion with Bluegem Learning. I work with organizations just like yours to help managers improve individual and team performance to get the optimum results for your business. And one of the things that I do is I coach people moving into management roles, so making that transition from potentially being a doer to being a leader of doers.

And one of the things I talk to them about is avoiding the five common mistakes that new managers often make. So the first one that we find is that people have a tendency to believe that just because they have that management badge they automatically have authority over everybody and instant credibility. And whilst they have the positional power of the role that they have they haven't necessarily built that expert credibility in the eyes of their employees.

So don't make that assumption first of all the everybody is going to look to you like, wow you're the expert when you haven't shown that you are. Okay. The second thing is that particularly when people have moved from a team that they've been a part of to a team that they are going to be moving into that they try and think that the relationships are going to be exactly the same. The fact that I might have been friends with when we were on a peer-to-peer basis and now perhaps I'm your supervisor doesn't mean that that relationship in work can stay exactly the same.

And that's not to say that people can't be friends outside of work but they need to make that demarkation between friend relationship and manager-employee relationship. The third point and linked to this is, don't make exceptions. And the problem there is it gets perceived that you're playing favorites, that you're somehow giving leeway to someone, people, a group of people and not to others and that's the quickest way that you can find to drive division into your team.

The fourth mistake that new managers can often make is that they're so keen to be able to demonstrate their ability that there is a tendency that they focus that it's my way is the only way that we can do things. And this can be particularly problematic if you're coming into a team with particularly experienced team members. I often use the phrase, "You have two ears and one mouth. You should use them in that order." Listen more than you talk. Listen to your experienced employees, Take their ideas and their thoughts on board and then make the decision is the best way to go.

You don't have to impose your will on them every time. If you do that you'll find that that's going to be a lot more effective. And linked to that is don't try and do everything on your own. You have a team of people to work with. If they're good at what they do, let them get at it. Equally you have other peers that you can have for support that can be that guiding force or that friendly ear. So don't think it all comes down to you. Make sure that you look for support from within your wider network.

If you found those points useful feel free to share those particularly with somebody that you know who might be transitioning into a management role. And if you're interested in some of the coaching work or the workshops that I run, check out my website at And I'll speak to you soon.

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