3 Mistakes Managers Make

I shake my head when I hear these 3 common mistakes managers make in all industries…. especially with young professionals.  Managing and leading for success is an exercise in humility.  The focus must be on:

Trust, Respect and Communication.

If for one minute you begin to believe that the role of manager makes you greater than the staff you manage you are in jeopardy of losing trust.  You are in jeopardy of losing respect and you are in jeopardy of losing effective communication.  

The following are 3 common mistakes of managers that occur when the focus is on the power of the job and not the power of the staff.

The following are 3 common mistakes managers make that occur when the focus is on the power of the job and not the power of the staff.


  • Threat vs. Coaching

Lack of Respect – Using threats versus coaching is a great way to crush respect.  Coaching staff and leading them to deliver the goals that are set in front of them is all about taking the time to really get to know your staff.  Believe that they want to do well and to be successful.  It is when you do not believe that your staff is trying to do their very best that the threats begin to occur.  But honestly, two questions come to mind when that occurs.  These questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. If indeed they are not trying to do their best…. WHY?  Part of the role of manager is to motivate and to create an environment that brings about success.  So what is it that YOU ARE MISSING.  This is a managerial issue not a staff issue.
  2. Why are they still part of your staff?  If you have looked at yourself and the rest of your staff is working hard and doing their very best…. why is this person still on your team?  Don’t resort to threats.  Set goals, coach and train for success and if it doesn’t work…. it doesn’t work!  Let the staff member go (after proper documentation…. of course)

Threats get you nowhere if anything, they are back trackers and killers of respect.  Threats make you as the manager look desperate and out of control.


  • No Support/ No Follow Through/ No Spot Checking

Lack of Communication – This one flows from fear.  Fear of correcting, coaching and not being liked.  But this is a great way to kill communication that should be occurring both ways. You’re role is to give support!  Your role as the manager is to set goals and then follow-up.  I’m not talking about “GOTCHA Situations”… I’m referring to true, honest support to ensure that everyone is performing at their maximum capacity.  (Check out this post about training and support) Spot checking to ensure that quality is a way of the business culture and give feed back – both good and constructive – when necessary.  NO FEAR!  This isn’t personal…. this is just a matter of here is what I expect…. how can I assist you in getting to this point and then following up to ensure that your team member has everything they need to be successful.  Say what you have to say to get your aces in the right places.  People want to be the best…. give them the tools they need in order to be the best!


  • Location – Discussing Issues

Lack of Trust – Want to destroy all trust?  Want to shut down communication?  Want to destroy team spirit?  Choosing the wrong location to discuss issues is the way to make that happen and to make it happen FAST!

Here’s a scenario:

One of your employees comes to you, she sits down and shares with you that she is concerned about some practices that are happening when you are not at the business. She shares with you already brought the situation to the person’s attention even though that person serves as her direct supervisor.  And that her direct supervisor told her that it was a stupid rule and that he didn’t care and was going to do it her way.

You, as the manager, and this employee have a deep discussion and at the end you assure her that you will speak to the assistant manager about the issue at hand. You also assure her that her name will not become part of that discussion, and that you appreciate her giving you a heads up about what is going on during the time that you are not at the business establishment.

As you and this employee walk out the door of your office, the assistant manager walks by and you ask him if you can chat with him for a minute.  Then you proceed to address the issue right in front of the employee who shared the issue with you.

What have you just done?  Well quite simply, you’ve just thrown all three of the focus areas for successful management out the window!  Your choice of location – the hallway –  lack of timing – right after you got the information and have not had time to digest it and your total disregard to your word – saying this right in front of the employee who trusted you with her concern…. just made you a completely ineffective manager.    

Foolproof tips to a-5

Have you ever seen these mistakes?  How did they affect the business/organization?  Was trust, respect and communication destroyed?




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