The Most Common Mistakes Managers Make and How to Avoid Them

Managers are expected to lead their teams to success, but they can often make mistakes that can have a negative impact on their team's performance. To help managers avoid these missteps, 13 members of the Forbes Council of Coaches discussed the most frequent ways managers inadvertently push employees away and some tips for avoiding them. Surprisingly, not listening to team members is one of the most common mistakes managers make. Trapped in their vision of a project, managers can choose not to listen to team members express their concerns or suggestions.

Listening attentively and with focus to team members provides important, sometimes crucial, information that managers might otherwise overlook. Another common mistake is not setting clear and defined objectives for their team. Without clear goals and expectations, it's difficult for team members to know what is expected of them. Managers should take the time to set clear objectives and provide feedback on how well they are being met. Additionally, managers should be aware of the temptation to make trips of power.

Instead of reacting, managers should take the time needed to anticipate potential problems, resolve them before they start, and help team members develop their own crisis-solving skills. The behavior or mood of a manager can influence the team to feel relaxed and motivated or stressed and under pressure. A common management mistake is not managing their own attitude. Managers should be aware of how their emotions can affect their team and strive to remain professional at all times. It's also important for managers to remember that kindness must be balanced with professionalism: when the time comes, managers must not allow friendship to undermine their authority. Managers should also prioritize face-to-face interactions with their team members instead of hiding behind the convenience of technology, such as email or a task management system.

Gaining a good relationship and trust with your employees by ensuring that they feel heard and supported will ultimately lift you up as the manager of your organization. You can train managers in listening skills, but if the manager believes that listening is a way of showing that he values people, training is often unnecessary. Finally, it's important for managers to remember that while financial reimbursement is one of the main reasons why employees work, it's a mistake to assume that money is their only motivator. Managers should strive to create an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. Managers have a habit of expecting an uncomfortable problem, conflict, or disagreement between employees to go away on their own if they don't provoke or try to resolve them. To avoid this mistake, managers should take the time needed to anticipate potential problems and resolve them before they start.