Most employees aspire to become a manager at some time in their career. After getting the first job, probably the biggest accomplishment one aspires to have is to lead a team. For some, the skill to manage bigger things and the will to lead others comes very naturally but for the rest, it is an uphill battle. This uphill battle need not be tough if one invests in learning the new skills and empowers their mindset.
Yet, every year individuals transitioning into Manager roles start very enthusiastically but then soon they hit roadblocks. Not having the right skillset and not having the right opportunities to train makes them commit mistakes that can be costly at times. In this blog, we share with you the most common mistakes made by new managers.
Mistake #1: Using the knife to cut the tree
You cannot chop a tree with the knife that you use in the kitchen. You need different tools and methods to do the bigger jobs. Right?
The same thing is true when it comes to taking up a bigger role.
Many new managers assume that the old ways of doing things will continue to help them. With the changing times, they fail to recognize the importance of upskilling. This impacts their productivity and performance. New managers also end up managing their teams with a “One size fits all” approach. This results in having a team that is not inspired enough to do the work.
The fact is, the new role demands a new level of thinking and skills to manage the workload and people. Skills like managing time, delegation, conflict resolution, understanding of different personalities in the team, and strategies to handle them are a must.
All new managers must invest time in upskilling themselves and stop using the knife to cut the tree.
Mistake #2: Getting Friendzoned
As you transition from an individual contributor to manager, you now lead the same group that you shared your tea and lunch breaks with. Maybe you spent time gossiping about the management sometime back and now you are responsible for managing them. There is all possibility that you will be Friendzoned. The definition of friendzone here is that your team still considers you to be a friend than their manager. As a result, they stop taking you or your instructions seriously. Most managers make the mistake of never coming out of this zone. In fact, they end up believing that acting like a friend is a perfect recipe to keep the culture happy and inspiring.
New managers must stop getting friend-zoned and start building boundaries. These boundaries must be communicated regularly. This can help the manager exercise authority and hold the team more accountable.
Mistake #3: Going Fast Than Going Slow
I remember the first lesson my instructor taught me when I started learning how to drive. I wanted to learn everything faster and also wanted to drive faster. He sensed my emotions and said, “When learning a new skill, never go fast. If you go fast, you will take more time and also end up causing more damage.” That was an incredible lesson.
When taking up the new role the same lesson holds good. With the newly earned title, most new managers want to do everything fast. They want to turn around everything overnight causing a wave of resistance. The need to change everything and the need to do it faster creates distrust among the team members. Some managers change the things that are working fine without giving reasons.
Instead, new managers must learn to go slow. Before introducing any changes, they must take time to first build rapport and trust among the team members. Failing to do slow down will only cause more frustration in their new role.
Mistake #4: Seeking Rewards Without Investments
An adage says, “You reap the rewards of the seeds that you plant. Don’t expect an apple tree when you plant a cactus.” This only means that our expectations must match with the actions that we are willing to take. Without right actions never expect the returns.
As soon as the manager takes the new role, they must not assume that they will start reaping the rewards instantly. They must stop expecting the teams to follow every instruction to outperform. The team might do the things because of the position but not because of the authority. Authority is earned by investing in relationships with peers, members of the team, and everyone. Not investing in relationships and expecting everyone to go the extra mile is one of the biggest mistakes of New managers.
Mistake #5: Being A Rockstar
A Rockstar is a performer. He comes on the stage and wows everyone. On the stage the rockstar is flawless.
Managers must stop being like a rockstar. Instead, they must be authentic. Most new managers show themselves are perfectionists and avoid taking support from others. They assume that showing their weakness or mistakes might make them look bad. Hence, they hide their weakness and pretend to know everything. This is a big turn-off. In reality, authenticity builds trust and creates bonds among the team members. When the new manager pretends to know everything, it only creates more hurdles.
The truth is every rockstar performance is only possible with a rockstar-like team. And to be that rockstar there are years of practice and preparation. Yet, there are mistakes. The real stars acknowledge the mistakes and keep moving forward with their team. As a new manager, you must focus on building a rockstar team than showing up like a rockstar.
These are a few mistakes that new managers make.
The two most important aspect of being a successful manager is to build personal credibility and mutual trust in the team. These two can happen when the manager stops making the mistakes and learns the skills faster.
What are the other mistakes that you have noticed in your career? Do leave us your thoughts in the comments below.
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