Common Mistake Made by Bosses

April 7, 2015 2:48 pm

“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”  George Bernard Shaw

“I have not failed.  I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison

Everyone makes mistakes.  We are human, after all.  No matter how much experience we have or how good our intentions are, it is a normal part of life, both at work and at home to make blunders every once and a while.  As owners, managers, or bosses there are two major categories into which our mistakes may fall. Some mistakes are one-time events, such as hiring the cleaning service that did a mediocre job.  You recognized it and took quick action learning to never hire them again.  The other category of mistakes are chronic mistakes that have become a part of your personal management style.  These types of mistakes may be causing difficulty for your employees, your customers and ultimately your company.   What are common mistakes made by bosses and how can you successful adjust your management style to avoid them in the future?

  • Communication Mistakes – Information is power.  If your employees don’t understand the goal of a project and what your expectations are, they may muddle through without getting clear feedback until they are too far along in the project.  Clearly communicate your goals.  Do it multiple times. For example, follow up personal conversations about projects with something in writing so that the staff member can review your assignment. The more accurate and complete the communication is between employer and employee, the better the performance and product will be.
  • Balancing being a Laissez-Faire Manager and a Micro Manager – Some leaders want to avoid being seen as a micro manager so much that they become too hands-off.  By not being involved at all, a finished product may not be done to your satisfaction and contain errors.  Conversely, being too involved may ultimately annoy your employees, slowing productivity and bringing down morale.  The key is to find the right balance between being too involved and not involved enough.  Take your cues from employees.  Encourage them to ask questions.  Be the kind of boss that doesn’t mind re-clarifying an assignment or goal.  Check in on projects at certain stages to make sure progress in on the right track.
  • Not Delegating – No boss can do it all.  Instead of trying to be super-boss, recognize the talent that is right in front of you.  Find out what your employees excel at and put them in charge of certain tasks.  This frees your time up from tasks that bottleneck your leadership time and shows that you see the potential in an employee.
  • Failing to Recognize Successes – Businesses get busy, very busy sometimes.  Failing to recognize a staff member’s success either by a quick shout out in a staff meeting or a hand written note is a huge mistake.  A quick note or pat on the back can make someone’s day and motivate them to continue working hard.
  • Distancing Yourself – While being best buds with co-workers may not work for your management style, it doesn’t mean you can not be friendly and make personal connections with the people with whom you work. Don’t be too busy to get to know your employees and what is going on in their lives.
  • Being Resistant to Change – With the ever-changing technology today, it is not advisable to avoid change.  Instead try to keep up with the changes by reading trade journals and attending workshops that will keep you up-to-date about innovations coming down the pike.  Instead of resisting change try to anticipate it and embrace what it may do for your business.

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