To Lead & To Mislead: Common Misconceptions About Being in Charge




  • — January 9, 2019

    Management. What we all strive for in some form or another. We desire to be promoted within our companies, to form and manage our own businesses, to have control over household activities. Whether it’s managing children, finances, or a staff, it’s a notorious struggle built on stereotypes and generalizations.

    With the pressure of management comes a reflection of behavior. You begin to ask yourself: How do I get people to listen to me? From there, many myths surrounding leadership characteristics begin to grow. The first step to being a good manager is this: throw those behavioral misconceptions out the window. Starting with these few.

    Managers Should Be Tough

    An enlarged ego can sometimes come with an enlarged office. Some people think that they need to refine the way they act with their peers when they’ve been promoted or hired into a management position.

    Forget the saying “nice guys finish last.” A Harvard Business Review study shows that they actually finish first. That’s right, leaders that project warmth and kindness have higher success rates. Their amiability builds trust in their staff, which in turn earns their loyalty and improves their work performance.

    Meanwhile, tough bosses are more likely to instill stress in their staff, which actually comes at a cost. High employee stress levels contribute to higher turnover rate, higher insurance expenditures, and decreased company profitability as a result. When it comes to leading, the best way to do so is with compassion.

    Managers Should Always Be, Act, & Look Busy

    The obvious here is: It can get really boring locking yourself in your office pretending you’re tied with excessive paperwork. If your managerial duties are completed, don’t just sit back and pretend to look busy or create new unnecessary tasks for yourself.

    The best thing managers can do is toss aside the three-piece and throw on an apron. Have you ever been to a busy restaurant where the manager came up to personally take your drink or food order while their wait staff was overwhelmed? A pretty nice and personal touch, right?

    Your staff, and clients will value your help with day-to-day operations. When you’re all caught up in your work, ask your team members how you can help make their jobs easier. It will make all the difference in the world to them.

    Managers Should Manage Everything

    That is called “micromanaging” – and it is exhausting to both managers and to their staff. When managers feel the need to micromanage their staff’s work, they destroy the trust developed between associate and manager. Unless, of course, you are aiding a new employee still in training.

    Furthermore, micromanaging is a sign of low self-trust. If you have trust in your training abilities, you will trust your staff’s ability to get the job done. Yes, flubs will happen. However, they’re more likely to happen if your attention is divided between menial tasks. Don’t let one employee mistake mislead you into thinking you should watch that employee’s every move.

    Rather than all this, make yourself available. Let your staff know that you’re always happy to double check their work when they’re unsure, answer any questions, and offer any insight. An open-door policy is the best way gain insight into day-to-day duties without forcing yourself into them.

    Managers Should Be the Most Knowledgeable

    Should managers be knowledgeable? Yes. Should they be the most knowledgeable? Not necessarily. It is possible for the most knowledgeable and experienced employee to also be the best candidate for management, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, the employees that have been with the company the longest don’t have the people skills required to be a manager.

    The best managers are the ones with leadership qualities, and leadership qualities are not exclusive to expertise in a certain field. Confidence, flexibility, compassion, and intuition are leadership qualities. The best managers will always be the ones who communicate best with others.

    A manager who knows their stuff but cannot tactfully convey their messages to their staff is more likely to instill fear rather than respect. Meanwhile, a manager who is jovial and professional will always gain the respect – and will be open to learning more from their staff in order to gain the knowledge to accompany it.

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    Author: Ellie Batchiyska

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