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Feb 1, 2019

Management Traps And How To Avoid Them


Successful individual contributors can derail when they manage other people. Here, Zena Everett shares some tips on how to make sure that doesn't happen in your career...

Congratulations, you’ve hit your targets, your influencing skills have been recognised and you have been rewarded with your own team to manage. These could be new hires, people you inherit, or trickiest of all, peers that now report to you.

I've seen many new managers stumble into one of these management styles:

The Control Freak Trap

You have unfeasibly high standards, so end up micro-managing the performance of skilled team members, rather than risk a less than perfect job. You think you could do it better yourself, so end up completing their tasks when they’ve gone home. It’s easier than taking the time to explain it to people who aren’t committed to your high standards. Those high standards are what got you promoted after all.

The Superstar Trap

You have management responsibilities but are still rewarded and measured mostly on your own performance. Logically, you spend as little time managing as you can get away with. You have 1:1s every Monday then leave them to get on with it for the rest of the week. Some of their performance isn’t up to scratch but you are too busy to instigate a performance management system with them. With a bit of luck, they’ll get fed up and move on, so you can hire a self-sufficient replacement.

The Mother Hen Trap

You book yourself on a Mindful Management course so you can truly develop the latent talent in your team. Some of them have been bouncing around the business for a while, consistently delivering lack-lustre results. You are convinced that they’ll come good under your wing. You spend hours encouraging them, asking them how they feel about their performance and what they intend to do differently in future.

Your boss suggests you move them out, but you are optimistic that in six months or so you’ll turn their performance around. In the meantime, you commit to picking up the slack yourself. You cancel your gym membership and postpone your holiday, so you can devote yourself to being the best manager you can be.

Ring any bells? None of these styles work - for you or the people that work for you. Click here for four tips to make the tricky transition from individual contributor to successful management. Follow them and your team will loyally follow you.

 

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