9 mistakes new managers make

Now you are the boss: what you need to know.


Your first managing job is a serious challenge. First-time managers who get promoted from specialist positions do not have managerial skills. Then one day, they find themselves in the role for which they are not ready.

Here are the mistakes new managers make and how to avoid them in our translation of the article published on The Balance Carriers.

#1. Think they must know everything

Many experts are appointed managers only because they have developed professional competencies. Now, instead of developing their own expertise, they need to help others grow.

The skills that helped you get the job are very different from those that will make you successful.

Now your task is to support the development of employees and guide them in their work, rather than be the best specialist in the team.

#2. Demonstrate their power to assert themselves

There is no need to prove that you are the boss. The employees already know this. The team needs support, not your self-affirmation.

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Doing this only weakens your authority and decreases your trustworthiness.

#3. Try to change everything

New managers often criticize what has been done before them. Remember that your team participated in the development of previous processes, and your criticism is a sign of disrespect for their work.

Instead of trying to find something that is not right, talk to employees about what they would like to change to make the work more productive.

#4. Are afraid to implement changes

The opposite is when the new manager is afraid to change anything. Such people try to keep things as they are, being afraid to suggest even minor changes to the team.

The manager must be able to make decisions and take responsibility. Look for problem areas with employees and don't be afraid to implement changes.

#5. Fail to build relationships with employees

If this is your first time working with a team, get to know them and create an atmosphere of mutual trust. The best way to do this is to establish personal contact with everyone.

Discuss their ideas and suggestions face to face. Talk about career expectations and develop a joint plan that will help the employee achieve their goal.

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If you were promoted to a management post within the team, you still should hold these conversations. By doing so, you will see your colleagues in a different light. In a new position, you will see what you did not notice when you were communicating on an equal footing.

#6. Forget to involve their boss in the work

Many new managers think that after the promotion, they should not seek the help of their boss and that they have to work out everything themselves. Usually, the executives are glad to help and guide.

Some bosses want to be aware of all operational tasks and to discuss them with the new manager on a daily basis. Others prefer to get involved only when newbies come to them for help. And the third group wants to track how a new manager copes with their role.

Strive for a balance between independence and support from the executives.

#7. Avoid conflict with employees

New managers often try to avoid difficult interpersonal situations in a team.

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Unless they can provide constructive feedback, such criticism will set people against them.

Employees keenly observe how the new manager deals with uncomfortable communication. Managers who avoid it struggle to gain the team’s respect.

And vice versa: professional and timely resolution of conflicts increases the manager’s authority.

Do not avoid unpleasant conversations, do not delay criticism, learn the skills of constructive communication.

#8. Are afraid to be vulnerable

New managers are afraid that showing their weakness will decrease their authority. Employees want to see your sincerity and to know that you are a living person just like them.

Do not hide your mistakes: acknowledge them, discuss the lessons you have learned from the failures with the team. Honesty and humanity invoke a sense of trust, which will make employees support you in difficult situations.

#9. Fail to protect the team

The best way to increase the manager’s authority is to take care of the team. Protect your employees and defend their interests in the company, do not let others interfere with their work. The team should feel that with you they, are safe and secure.

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