7 Deadly Mistakes of New Managers

Becoming a manager is an important step in career growth. It brings financial rewards as well as increases chances of further growth in the corporate ladder.

In my talks with other executives, everyone regards managers as the pillar of organization’s growth. They also agrees that it is very difficult to find good managers. Managers can be hired externally but usually internal promotions are considered the best by most executives.

Internal employees are most promoted to managerial positions if they show good soft skills and can be groomed further. Familiarity with culture also helps them on their new positions

At our organization, we have promoted various technical people to become managers as well hired externally. we have had success in both but more success in internal promotions.

I would like to share some of the deadliest mistakes i have seen new managers make.

1. Using Position or Authority to Lead

Leading using position is one of the worst mistake new managers make. No one likes dictators, who just order them around, doesn’t respect their opinion and is not interested in their feedback.

Best leaders are servant leaders. They facilitate their teams to have open discussions, respect their feedback. They even ask for employees availability before meetings and before giving them feedback

2. Not Trusting their Team

Lack of trust on teams is one of the worst mistakes new managers make. Probably because they were star employees themselves and were promoted. They sometimes don’t trust people on technical skills or taking responsibility.

They end up micro managing their teams. This lack of trust is quickly recognized by smart employees and results in increasing stress and distrust in teams. They also just start playing along rather than truly contributing in the success of projects.

3. Criticizing their Teams

Being always on the lookout for a moment to criticize someone is a fatal mistake. No one likes people who are always criticizing. It decreases team moral and reduces confidence.

New managers should start by looking out for things they can appreciate in their team members. once they have established a long trust relationship as a mentor with their teams, they can start delivering critical feedback. It is important that the feedback is never delivered in a harsh or negative way. The purpose of feedback is not to attack the other person but only attack the problem.

4. Not Clarifying their Expectations

People only live upto your expectations when you clearly communicate them. New managers often get frustrated that their team members don’t deliver like they want them to. One of the biggest reason for this is that they don’t set and clarify their own expectations from them.

Once the expectations are clear, and positive feedback is delivered to team member on every right action. The team members become confident that they are going in the right direction.

5. Not Coaching your Team

Some new managers don’t believe in coaching. They don’t separate the behaviors from the people and believe that the problematic behaviors cannot be changed or people can be helped to grow.

Coaching is one of the most important part of being a good manager. It does take a while and some good management experience to start coaching your team but not believing in coaching is a critical mistake.

Some experienced managers also make the mistake of coaching only their weakest employees and not focusing on their stars or medium level employees.

6. Always finding Excuses or Blaming Others

These managers will always have someone to blame for the late delivery, poor quality, or even a non-technical client. They fail to accept feedback or take responsibility of failures on their project On the other hand, they will be mostly interested in taking the reward themselves.

Accepting responsibility is what great managers do when they are wrong. There may be some scenarios when they are blaming the right person but those who always find excuses generally don’t accept responsibility.

7. Bragging about how good they were as employees

I have seen this with new as well experienced managers. Mostly star performers like star coders or testers are promoted as managers.

These star performers if not humble, brag about their successes and how they were for example able to solve a certain problem or for how long they could code for days. This attitude mostly results in their team members getting angry at them or increasing their stress depending on their personality.

Appreciate your team members and find the good in them. They will recognize how you helped them grow, how you facilitated them in success and how you coached them. They will develop respect for you as a leader or a role model.

Barkan Saeed is CTO at MobileNext Phoenix and manages the offshore development team in Pakistan.