5 common mistakes inexperienced leaders do and how to prevent them
Becoming leaders is a true challenge. It’s like getting married to someone and you become responsible for someone else’s life apart from your own. Besides, you have to always think and weight, plan, and estimate, show the right direction when they don’t know what to do, set the pace for the whole team, and yeah! INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE. Yes, becoming a leader is a hard task but if you are about to become one or simply want to improve your leadership skills, here are some mistakes all newbies do that you better keep in mind.
1. I will do it myself – as I know best of all!
This is the most common mistake young leaders do when starting a managerial position – performing tasks FOR their subordinates. It is amazing that you can do it, and probably, you wouldn’t be promoted to this position if you weren’t that good. But now is the time to throw this thought out of your head and delegate the task. A leader’s job is not about doing as much as you can, but about putting the right tasks to the right team members.
2. Showing bad example
While some newbie leaders can’t get rid of the habit of doing too much, the others stop doing anything at all. They might think of themselves as BIG BOSSES, which may negatively impact the team spirit. Nick it down – you are now the epicenter of all events going on. And you must become a good example, which means working just as hard as your team and letting them see it. With your good example, you will save them from laziness and will set up a proper work pace.
3. Over-control and going into unnecessary details
I also call it a “destructive perfectionism” – and a funny thing is that those who’ve never been perfectionists become ones in a matter of days. First, they don’t trust anyone, as “everyone wants to cheat!” so they control each and every movement. Second, since they are so good at this, they start explaining HOW to do the task instead of just putting the task and let them MAKE UP their own plan of execution. If the kid falls and you run to them to put them on their feet again, they won’t learn to do it themselves. Breathe out and let them make their own mistakes. An additional benefit of letting go over-control – they are developing the feeling of being responsible for what they do.
4. Not having 1-on-1 meetings – regular and weekly
Believe it or not, conducting regular 1-on-1 meetings can help boost your team members’ productivity SEVERAL TIMES. First – you get to know what’s going on in their work-field, second – you are building closer personal relationships. To make such meetings indeed productive, you should create a template, which would serve as a meeting agenda (see an amazing example here). Having a meeting agenda ready at hand helps you not waste a minute of your time.
“Why weekly, and not daily or monthly?”, you might ask. One week is a perfect period of time to plan tactic tasks and show progress. A day is too short to estimate since some tasks require much time. Monthly, quarterly and annual meetings are good for discussing strategic plans.
5. Concentrating on business issues 100% and forgetting about simple chat about life
Business and career have taken humans so deep that we often forget to talk about life issues. If you want to become a leader people LIKE AND RESPECT and not fear, you should devote some time to getting to know them. What do they like doing in their spare time? Which staff do they deal with apart from work? What inspires them and what makes them distracted? Asking these questions will make you closer to them. And knowing the answers will open up the reasons for their success and failure at work.
Now, get these pieces of advice and put them in practice, and you’ll see how much more productive you and your team will become. In the meantime, read about new trends of the post-quarantine labor market.