Common Leadership Mistakes Rooted in Insincerity
Whether you’re managing a team of five or fifty, the pressure to yield results is ever-present. Managerial positions come with numerous obstacles on a daily basis. In addition to challenging projects, tight deadlines and lack of time or resources, senior officers also have to ensure that their teams perform at their absolute best. When you’re new to such a role, it is extremely easy to become overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Nonetheless, you can avoid the most common leadership mistakes. Even if you feel like you’re in this completely on your own.
Insincerity at the workplace
One of the most common mistakes managers make is being insincere at work – both to themselves and to others. Being earnest at the office means so much more than just being open to criticism. It exposes you to negative comments, making you more vulnerable and rocking your self-confidence. This is why most of us tend to shut ourselves off. Such a state creates a bubble of protection, preventing us from being influenced by other people’s opinions and comments.
But in truth, this type of approach is doing more harm than good.
Being insincere with our employees actually causes a rift in communication. Which is why it’s at the top of our list of leadership mistakes. Seeing that on most days, you will need to rely on your team, you need to work to ensure you’re communicating well. Keeping secrets, or even trying to protect employees from harsh truths creates a distance that makes most workers feel like they can’t trust their management. It also contributes to an overall feeling of distance, in which the idea of the superior manager and inferior employees is perpetuated.
If this distanced state continues for longer periods, managers are left with a serious problem of a team lacking in motivation and dedication to their job. Thus, the enchanted circles of “me against them,” and “them against me” continue, creating bigger and bigger problems.
Relying only on yourself
Managers who don’t engage with their teams are often quite lonely. Not only do they carry the brunt of the work, but they also feel let down by their employees. In these cases, the easiest thing to do is fall deeper into the pit of miscommunication. Instead of asking for help, managers often allow themselves to justify their working process with thoughts such as:
“I don’t need anyone to make this work.”
“I will reap all the praise for this project.”
“Why would I apply myself if others aren’t working equally hard.”
“Everyone but me is incompetent.”
While these are meant to be positive sentences, aimed at making our job easier, they are actually further convincing us that we are facing our problem alone. Thinking that we can do anything by ourselves, or that we have no one to ask for help creates an unhealthy amount of stress. And that goes on to influence our professional and private lives.
Feeling superior to others
When the conversation with your team is compromised, it becomes extremely easy to succumb to adopting negative feelings about your peers. Leaving disagreements and issues go ignored often seems like the easiest thing to do. Instead of working together to achieve a goal, you are actually powering through your work sessions. You’re pushing towards the end goal with the idea of your reward being that you won’t have to work together anymore.
But why is it easier to ignore these frustrations instead of facing them and working through them?
One of the most common leadership mistakes is alienating yourself from your peers and colleagues. You need to be aware of the fact that you’re not only in charge of a team of employees, but are a part of a bigger circle of people. Although it may seem that your part of the job is the most important in ensuring success, it’s crucial that you’re aware that each task has its purpose. Success in a company can only be achieved if everyone is working together towards achieving common goals. This requires healthy communication and ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard.
The best way to go about this is to get together with your peers and agree on a course of action that will address everyone’s questions and concerns. Think about it: a production manager may be concerned with the results their team is getting, but a logistics or quality manager will know how to help them achieve those results. Another thing worth mentioning is sharing your goals and strategies. This way, others can support you instead of dragging along or making your part of the job more difficult than it should be.
So what can we do?
First and foremost, you need to be honest and genuine at your place of work. This is probably the most difficult part of the process. The “fake it until you make it” philosophy is sometimes so deeply ingrained in our brains that we’re unaware of the fact that it’s preventing us from actually “making it”.
While our first instinct in a difficult situation may be to protect ourselves from emotional harm, it’s actually much more efficient to face any problem head-on. If one of your team members isn’t doing an adequate job, or if you think that others aren’t pulling as much weight as they should, it is important that you speak up.
By communicating in an open, sincere manner, you are allowing others to grow and improve. After all, it is more than likely that people aren’t even aware of what they’re doing wrong. Perhaps even more importantly, open and sincere communication will provide you with honest feedback. The best way to face it is to listen, say thank you, avoid being too conceited or judgmental.
What this means, is that you need to be open to improvements as well. Though it’s a scary concept and unpleasant to think about, there are always things we’re not approaching as well or as efficiently as we could. Are you aware of any common manager mistakes you’re making on a regular basis? Maybe your instructions are unclear? Or your decision process seems illogical? Maybe there’s someone more knowledgeable about a topic, yet you don’t ask for their advice?
Find the courage to ask for help when overcoming leadership mistakes
Remember that you weren’t given a managerial position in order to do everything yourself. You were chosen to inspire, educate and instruct others so that the team can achieve the best possible results. Find the courage within to be authentic, sincere and to ask for help. You’ll see that the sky’s the limit.
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