There are hundreds of books and articles written on how to be a great leader. Filled with characteristics that make a natural leader, skills to develop to become a better manager, and advice on how to oversee your team properly, these publications are plentiful with great content. However, when accepting a new leadership position, few think to research what not to do. You may have your own idea of leadership do’s and don’ts from past experience in other jobs, but knowing commonly made mistakes is a great way to prepare for these challenges and plan to overcome them as you take on your new role.
Being closed off to feedback
Your direct manager will be the one to continue to evaluate your job performance as you take on your new role as a leader. They report on the day-to-day tasks that you still are expected to complete while overseeing others. Unless your direct manager is a fly on the wall, they will likely be unheeding to the type of leader that you are.
Your team is the best resource to provide you with accurate feedback on how you are performing as a manager. It is important that they know that you are open to and encourage all feedback, both positive and negative, through open communication. It can even be beneficial to provide them with a safe environment or, if necessary, an anonymous way to provide you with feedback.
Not setting (and conveying) consistent standards
To keep team morale high, it is important to hold all members of the team to the same high standard, even yourself. When team members feel inclusive and parallel to one another in their positions, they are more motivated to perform well for their leaders and have an improved employee experience at work. This also holds true for negative feedback and areas of improvement. Holding each team member to the same high standard will open up the floor to comfortable discussions between you both to address areas of concern in their work.
Managing everyone the same
Your teammates are human, and this means that they are all unique. With varying personalities comes an abundance of ideas, creativity, feedback, and other benefits. However, a challenge in individualism is hat the style of management that each member needs can be diverse. It is important that your management style for each individual on your team reflects his or her professional and personal goals, as well as the tasks that they complete on a daily basis. Observation and adaptation will go a long way in developing the right management techniques for your teammates.
Being a first-time manager or gaining a new team will come with challenges and obstacles to overcome. Properly preparing for this change is the key to success as you learn and grow with your new team.