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News Sept. 28, 2023

Rookie mistakes of first-time managers

It can take time to adjust to being a first-time manager, and you will make mistakes. But knowing what not to do can help you minimize those mistakes.

Fast Company asked business leaders and current first-time managers to share their mistakes when taking on new managerial responsibilities. The following are some examples of things to avoid as a new manager.

  • Not providing direct feedback. It can be difficult for first-time managers to provide feedback to direct reports; sometimes they want to avoid tough conversations. But constructive feedback is crucial for employees and helps them grow.
  • Never asking for help. To avoid burnout, you must be vocal and ask for help when you are feeling the pressures of management. Talk to your boss and peers, as they likely have had the same experience.
  • Trying to motivate everyone the same way. Personalities and motivations are different and should be addressed individually. Discuss motivation with each team member and find ways to build and maintain a system that works.
  • Believing certain tasks are beneath you. Empathetic leaders know you would not ask someone to do something you would not do yourself.
  • Micromanaging. This typically leads to lower morale and decreased productivity among team members. Focus on providing support rather than control; set clear expectations but empower team members to be problem solvers. And do not be afraid to delegate.
  • Not listening to your team. Get to know team members’ individual strengths and weaknesses so you understand what they need to be successful. Taking the time to build relationships is crucial.

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