Everyone makes mistakes. But when leaders make them, it can be really costly— a lost client, a missed business opportunity, confused management. Mistakes like these can impact a company’s pocketbook dramatically. Leadership mistakes can also de-motivate teams. De-motivated teams are not only unproductive, they’re also poor ambassadors. That in turn can hurt customer service support and your brand.
7 Common Leadership Mistakes:
Below are seven common leadership mistakes that can de-motivate your team:
Lack Of Prompt Feedback
Lack of prompt feedback is a classic leadership mistake—according to a poll of 1400 leaders conducted by the Ken Blanchard Companies. When you don’t provide prompt feedback, you deprive team members of an opportunity to improve performance.
If your team provides customer support service, members could be running off customers because of performance mistakes. Don’t’ wait for someone’s annual review. Address the issue now.
Failing To Clearly Define Goals
Team members need goals to thrive—and they must be clearly defined. When teams lack clearly defined goals, they just muddle through. They don’t know what the word means. They also can’t prioritize effectively. FedEx’s teams have a clearly defined goal—and it’s not what you think.
Not Protecting Your Team
Failing to protect teams from external blows damages their self-confidence. It also damages their confidence in you. Leaders must be open with teams. And they need to be frank with them. But they don’t have to tell them everything.
Filter feedback to your teams that comes from others. There are times when employees need to hear negative feedback and times when they don’t. Learn the difference.
Shutting Your Team Out
It’s easy for leaders to get engrossed in their own work. But be careful. You can get too engrossed. Make time for your team. Your people won’t always know what to do if they can’t come to you with questions.
Shutting your team out also deprives it of your support and guidance in achieving key objectives. It may not even know what its objectives are. Your team needs to know it comes first.
Not Listening To Your People
Leaders sometimes equate listening with passivity. That’s why some leaders spend more time talking then listening. Other leaders listen briefly and form an opinion too quickly. It’s called premature assessment.
Premature assessment kills your chances of getting to the root of a problem. It also kills your chance of understanding your team’s point of view. That can lead to wrong decisions and misunderstandings.
Nothing siphon’s off motivation faster than micromanaging. It’s another classic de-motivation tactic. When you micromanage, you cut off your team from the decision-making process. This not only de-motivates, it also frustrates team members and paralyzes initiative.
Never Admitting Mistakes
Your team knows you make mistakes. When you fail to acknowledge them, you hurt yourself and your team. It kills your team’s trust in you. It also kills credibility. Saying your wrong when you’ve made a mistake isn’t the end of the world.
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. But when leaders make them they can demoralize their teams. Poor morale hurts customer service support and other customer-oriented activities. That in turn harms your brand.
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list. What would you add? What leadership blunders have you seen?
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