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News March 26, 2024

Common mistakes new managers make

When you become a manager, you transition from being an excellent individual contributor to someone who now must motivate a team, communicate with team members effectively and ensure they produce quality work. The transition can be difficult because new managers must use skills that often are different from the skills they used before they were promoted.

Fast Company shares the following common mistakes new managers make.

  • Playing before you listen. New managers often are eager to take some action to show they are an effective team leader. But the most important thing to do during the first weeks in the role is to listen. Talk to direct reports about what they like and dislike about their work; how the group’s processes are working; and resources they might need to accomplish key tasks. This ensures you will not disrupt processes that are running smoothly. Additionally, you will learn more about your team, which will help you communicate with them better.
  • Not accounting for individual differences. New managers often provide feedback based on what they would have wanted to hear in the same situation. However, there are significant individual differences among people regarding what motivates them. Become familiar with the Big Five personality characteristics—openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism—which reflect significant ways people vary in their motivations. You also should learn about the key differences in values among people, which help determine what is important to them.
  • Using indirect communication. New managers sometimes must have difficult conversations, such as when an employee is underperforming. It is common to talk around the problem to avoid negative reactions. Instead, adopt the XYZ statement: You did X, it caused Y, and in the future, I would like you to do Z. This clearly states the problem and its result and suggests an alternative approach for the future.

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