Management Mistakes to Avoid

There’s no denying that one of the hardest parts of any job is managing people. To help you become a better manager, we asked local experts about common management mistakes—so you can avoid making them.
1. Lack of empathy. “A manager’s frustration at the lack of performance often ends up erupting in a demand for immediate improvement or else,” says R. Bonnie Haber, president of Corporate Calm LLC, an executive coaching firm in Croton-on-Hudson. This can erode the employee’s confidence, thus making it harder for him or her to perform.
2. Poor boundaries. “It is important that you maintain your authority and sustain clear role boundaries,” Haber says. Don’t cross the line by trying to be friends with your employees, consistently talking about personal subjects; it will diminish your authority, Haber warns.
3. Unclear expectations and performance goals. “The manager needs to make sure each employee knows what he or she needs to accomplish in order to receive recognition, including kudos, bonuses, pay increases, and promotions,” says Haber. If this remains unclear, employee morale and motivation will lag.
4. Failing to lead by example. “Many managers ask employees to follow a certain dress code, to greet each other in the morning, or to refrain from gossip, and yet they are guilty of those behaviors themselves,” says Laura Katen, founder of Katen Consulting, a professional development company in Harrison.
5. Not holding enough—or too many—staff meetings. “Many great managers have weekly meetings or meetings every two weeks,” Katen says.
6. Shutting down new ideas. “Managers are only as good as their staff, but many take their staff for granted,” Katen says. If you aren’t open to new ideas or suggestions from employees, you weaken your rapport with employees, and also weaken team mentality.

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