Five most common mistakes made by new managers
Once you have entered a management position in the public service, there is a natural transition of not only producing work but managing the work of others and managing ‘up’ the chain of command.
Below are five of the most common mistakes made by new managers, and options to be mindful of in mitigating some of these common mishaps.
1. Not taking a solutions-focused approach to issues
Not taking a ‘solutions-focused’ approach to how you conduct business on a day-to-day basis results in negative impacts across a range of areas. Your teams will disengage and not perform, take a negative approach to their role, and increases in conflict and criticism can ensue.
Using positive language and focusing on solutions is a way to take an active approach to solving issues in your department and helps keep the team on course.
2. Failing to check-in
Many new managers feel that now they are in positions of authority, that they may not need to have regular check ins with management up the chain. Managing up is still an important part of being a manager of a team – it keeps upper management in the loop with the happenings in your area, and it gives them the opportunity to provide feedback and support should you be encountering issues.
3. Pushing your battles up the chain
Linking in with the first point, it is important as a manager that you attempt to solve issues within your team and remit prior to escalating them to upper management. Complex decision making is part and parcel of being a manager, and as part of your development as a manager, taking ownership of issues and attempting to solve them using the resources at your disposal is an important part of your role.
4. Ineffective stakeholder management
Communication, feedback and failing to talk to your stakeholders is a common mishap in new managers. Whether your stakeholders are internal or external, it is important that you maintain open lines of communication to ensure that you have the context you need to keep moving forward and of course to achieve and manage your workloads and deadlines.
5. Misuse of authority
As a new manager, ensure you use your position to drive and achieve the agencies interest and outcomes. Using your position to achieve outcomes that aren’t in the best interests of your team or your agency’s mandate isn’t the best use of your time. Time is a precious commodity as a manager, use it in the best way you can.
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