5 Common Mistakes in Managing Your Team

By Christina Suter on Aug 11, 2018 at 07:00 AM in Business Issues
5 Common Mistakes in Managing Your Team

What are the mistakes you make out of kindness?

As a small business owner with a heart, it's easy to be led by your emotions. Conscious-minded business owners want to be thoughtful and look out for everyone, but sometimes we do so to the detriment of our business and team.

The most common mistakes leaders make:

1. The Overwhelmed Boss: You approach your employees like they're going to save you. That keeps you from being the boss and makes them responsible for parenting you and making sure you're okay. You hire employees to fix problems, but when you approach them with a 'you need to save me' energy, they bear the burden of feeling like they're in charge, and that they run your business better than you. Putting your problems onto your team's plate will lead to them feeling drained and without guidance or supervision. Overwhelmed bosses often fail to hold their team members accountable and that leads to projects falling through.

2. The Friend Boss: You don't want to be the boss who stresses your team members so you use the currency of friendship instead of the currency of employment. This leads to employees coming in late, finishing work late, not following directions, etc. When you treat them as a friend they do what friends do. The currency of employment is you remain friendly, not friends, and in exchange, your employees receive their paycheck. 

3. The Micromanager Boss: The boss who wants the work done as well as if he or she were doing it themselves so they hover and check in with their teammates too much. This is the opposite of being overwhelmed and letting them handle things; them micromanager takes a workflow and schedule and checks in multiple times and gives too many specific and small directions. This type of manager spends more time making sure the projects they've delegated get done that they don't get their work done. When you micromanage you burn out your employees and they become dependent on you and stop thinking for themselves. This costs you time and leaves, the people you've hired to help alleviate your problems, being more of a problem when they have to come back to you every 15 minutes to find out what they need to do next. This mistake strips your team members of their autonomy.

4. They Should Get It: this is the boss who doesn't understand why their employees don't just "get it" and why they don't care as much as you do. The mistake with this is, your company is yours; it's your vision, it's your purpose, it's your baby. You created the business so you will always care the most. Employees aren't attached to the bottom line and they only get a percentage of the income so they only have a percentage of investment in the business' success. You hired your employees and they do their job their way, not your way. You can enroll them in what the purpose for your business is and you can hire independent thinkers, but they will never do, get, or care as much as you. 

5. Do It Myself: This is the boss who doesn't hire people because they believe it's faster and done better to do the work themselves. The cost of that decision is if you expend time, effort, and energy that could and should be used to expanding your customer load and your business. You limit the size of your business when you spend your time doing work you could outsource to your team just because you could do it better or faster. 

Challenge yourself and explore whether you are one of the above types of leaders making the mistakes most of us make.