While it is certainly "human to err," when you're leading a team, it is important to learn how to avoid some of the most common mistakes that could lose you the respect of your team and potentially affect productivity. Below are four of the more common leadership mistakes you can avoid making:
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1. Not giving team members enough feedback
The only way your team members can understand that they need to correct a problem is if you alert them to its existence and provide constructive feedback once they complete the task. Unfortunately, many leaders hesitate to provide such feedback. There are many reasons why, but regardless of your own rationale, if you're not providing feedback, you are depriving your team of the chance to improve its performance.
The best way to avoid this mistake: Make a habit of providing feedback on a regular basis. Remember that feedback does not always have to be negative; it can also be positive. Make a point to let team members know when they are doing something right, as well as correct them when there's room for improvement.
2. Not "being there" for your team
As a leader, you naturally have a lot on your plate. It is certainly understandable how you can get so caught up in everything that it seems you don't have time for anything else. But regardless of how much you have on your schedule, it is important to make time for your people and give them the guidance and support they need to meet their goals.
The best way to avoid not being available: Make a concerted effort to set aside time in your schedule for your team. Maintaining an open door policy ensures that your people know you are always there for them when they need help.
3. Not defining goals
Without clear goals in place, your team may find optimum productivity impossible. As a result, projects will not be completed on time. As an effective leader, you cannot rely on your team members to set their own goals. Without clear direction, they will remain rudderless.
The best way to avoid this mistake: Establish goals so that team members will know where they are going. Meet with them regularly to gauge progress and ensure that everyone knows where they are in terms of meeting objectives.
4. Failure to delegate
Do you suffer from a superman complex? If so, you're not alone. Many leaders try to handle everything on their own and fail to delegate tasks to others. This can result in tremendous problems as work begins to bottleneck and leaders burn out. Although it can be difficult to trust others and delegate, it is essential that you make that effort.
The best way to learn to delegate: Developing your team is one of the most important steps you can do to ensure overall success while relieving some of your own pressures.
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