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3 Common Management and Leadership Mistakes


Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, even Managers. If you make a mistake own it and fix it. No one likes having to admit mistakes. It is difficult, and that is why people respect those who take responsibility and then move along to fix the mistake. The benefit is that your employees will learn to be honest with you and come to you with solutions to problems they create.

The best way to deal with mistakes is to avoid them. Try to work with your teams to make lists of potential “leaky faucets”, or the issues that could happen. Then, figure out which ones might take up the majority of resources. You probably have heard of Pareto; that is, 80 % of errors are created by 20 % of the problems. Find the worst potential risks and address them, and then you can avoid big bad mistakes.

You might also want to institute a culture of recording lessons learned so that the whole department learns as mistakes are made. Use thought and effort to avoid mistakes from the beginning. Be more thoughtful, and weigh the potential consequences of taking action or taking no action at all.

Keep Lines Of Communication Open

In particular, if you are the Manager, you always want to foster open communication. The simple reason is that then your team will tell you when they make a mistake, so you all can fix it together before it becomes a crisis that costs everyone their jobs. You never want to become the Manager who so badly reprimands people that they just stop speaking up at all.

The reality is, silence is not golden because it can cost people their livelihoods. Foster open lines of communication to avert mistakes in the first place, communicate clearly with people at different levels. Be sure that when you are communicating that the other party is actually understanding what you are saying to them. Have them repeat back what they think you said in their own words.

To avoid communication issues, Managers have to constantly work at verbal, written and persuasive communication skills. Most importantly, they need to master critical listening skills to identify when communication is breaking down. The good communicator is clear, concise, and confident. They are also empathic and understand how their receiver needs to receive the message to really hear it. It takes practice.


Remember to delegate tasks

Sometimes errors occur when there is a failure to delegate a task. Sometimes it means that you cannot focus on other tasks. In other way you could see delegating as a way to train those who are under your charge. Teach them better skills so you can learn where strengths in your employees lie. That way you may delegate confidently and build their skills. If you ever have openings, you will be able to promote from within.

You may not believe it, but your staff like it when you delegate. It makes them feel like you trust them, and you value them. Otherwise, they may lose confidence. When delegating you may need to train an employee on a new task. Make sure they actually understand how to perform it. Request status reports and do spot checks on their work to successfully delegate.

Anticipate problems before they come

One of the best ways to avoid errors is simply by anticipating the next task. Anticipating what could happen next is a great skill to have. It means that you are thinking ahead, and planning what to do if things do not go as planned. The great part is that anticipation generally handles the problems before they become crises.

Anticipation is called risk Management in Project Manager terms. Managers must anticipate what could go wrong, and what could have the worst impact, cost and consequence wise. For sales Managers, knowing objections is key to making a successful sales argument. Do not let a situation run you. Instead, learn to anticipate so that you can manage the situation and the people who can help you navigate through it.

Additionally, while no one has a crystal ball, in many situations you can guess what could happen. Being prepared allows your organisation to take advantage of opportunities rather than limiting potential. Do Strategic Planning to anticipate. Learn baseline numbers and see what other Managers have contended with in similar scenarios. There is nothing wrong with performing strategic planning.

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