While it’s normal to make mistakes, there are some common errors most new managers make. Knowing where these “potholes” are is the first step to avoiding them.
Last week, we talked about “Management Lesson Number One” and not trying to remain “one of the gang.” This week, we’re looking at two other common potholes.
Throwing the team under the bus
When something goes wrong, it doesn’t have to be someone’s fault. We don’t always have to find someone to blame.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”obT9d” via=”yes” ]We don’t always have to find someone to blame when something goes wrong.[/ctt]
In fact, as a manager, it’s you who needs to take responsibility. Focus on the issues, and what can be done, rather than on who did what.
When I walk into my doctor’s office, I don’t want the office receptionist to complain that the doctor is always late. I want her to show leadership and take care of the situation, rather than throwing him under the bus in order to gain my sympathy. And I don’t want the doctor to blame the receptionist for poor scheduling either.
If things aren’t going according to plan, good managers take responsibility, ownership. Looking to find someone to blame will make your team lose trust in you, and that will eventually result in a team that doesn’t work well together and doesn’t support you. But if you are willing to take responsibility, you will find yourself with a loyal team.
Flying under the radar
This is a habit that many people new to management need to fix. We need to show others that we’re capable and willing to step up to the plate. We need to be seen as belonging in a management role because we have earned it.
That doesn’t mean we should walk around all day pointing out all the things that we do, saying, “without us the office would fall apart.” It means that when someone says thank you for something, we don’t dismiss their compliment.
When I was first dating my husband, he was very complimentary to me, but I was uncomfortable with his compliments and brushed them aside. He pointed out that when I did that, I was dismissing something that he thought was valid by saying, “No, that isn’t true” by my words and actions. He pointed out that I needed to be able to accept a compliment, and not insult the giver.
When someone compliments you about your work, do you tell her that she’s wrong or give the compliment to someone else? Do you say things like, “Oh, it was really Rachel who did the hard parts”? While Rachel may have been instrumental in helping you get the task done, she doesn’t deserve all the credit—so don’t give her all of the credit. Learn to say thank you and learn to stop giving away your reputation and credibility. If you are leading a team, everyone realizes that you are not doing that alone. By all means, thank the team and give them credit where credit is due, but don’t ignore yourself in the process.
Do you make a point of coming prepared to meetings, and speaking up during them? You should; especially if you’re in a management role. Show yourself, the company, and your coworkers that you have something to contribute. Be prepared so that when you do contribute, your contribution is valuable.
Avoiding the potholes that lie in the path of a new manager takes skill. But by knowing where the potholes are, you can avoid them, and thrive in your new role.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”UXZ2b” via=”yes” ]Avoid the “New Manager Potholes” here[/ctt]