Common Mistakes New Managers Make (and How to Avoid them)

Being promoted to a management position can be an exciting transition but it can also be extremely overwhelming.  You have gone from being told what to do to the one running the show.  It is your job to guide your employees in order to achieve successful results.  You understand the significance of your new leadership role but you are learning how to shift into this new position.  As you work to figure out how to manage your team it is inevitable that you will make some mistakes along the way.  Be on the lookout for these common mistakes that many new managers make.

Forgetting to Delegate

When you were a team member, your job consisted of completing tasks and your main responsibility was getting those done on time.  Now that you are a manager you cannot focus on individual tasks anymore.  You will quickly begin to sink if you continue trying to complete tasks on your own.  Remember that your success is dependent on the success of your team and you have to delegate tasks and focus on helping your team complete their assignments.

Trying to Make Too Many Changes Too Fast

New managers are oftentimes very eager to get started making changes.  However, they can easily fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once.  Not only will this be unproductive, but it will rub employees the wrong way and increase tension in the workplace.  People don’t take to change very well so be sure and take it slow and attack problems one at a time.

Trying to Make Friends

We all have an inherent desire to be liked by our peers, but unfortunately managers are not in the business of making new friends.  Developing personal friendships with your employees can lead to trouble in the future.  You need to be able to step back in order to give honest feedback and to make decisions that might impact your team.  There is nothing wrong with being cordial, but steer clear of becoming too close with your employees.

Being Afraid to Give Honest Feedback

It is not easy being the one who has to deliver criticism or negative feedback, but that is part of a manager’s job.  Many new managers are very vague or indirect when giving criticism and turn away from conflict.  However, fellow employees will quickly become frustrated when problems remain unresolved.  Instead, managers need to be secure with their authority and make sure their employees know what is expected of them.

Not Taking the Lead

Many new managers don’t want to come across as overbearing or micromanaging so they hesitate to jump right in start making decisions.  The problem with this, is that when managers sit back and take too long to start managing, their team quickly begins to fall apart.  Not only does this lead to disarray, but you risk losing the respect of your employees and they will begin to question your authority.

Becoming an effective manager takes time.  Managers need to work to find a balance between guiding their team appropriately versus being too authoritative.  This is an adjustment that takes a great deal of practice and patience.  New managers need to remember that it is a learning process, and avoiding these common mistakes can help them on their way to becoming a great leader.