Being a good leader does not mean always making the right decision or saying the right thing to your employees. Leadership is defined both by the things you do and the things you don’t.
Being a good leader means not making mistakes that can negate all your hard work and prevent your team and business from succeeding.
Here are five mistakes leaders need to be aware of:
1. Not Delegating
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” This is one of the most erroneous and dangerous thoughts ideas that a leader can have. Simply put, if you think this way, you are unfit to lead a team.
A good leader trusts their team to complete their tasks to the highest standard so that the entire business can progress. In return, the team trusts you to guide them.
Also, every employee who understands the trust you put in them becomes motivated to live up to it and to continue improving.
Research proves that delegating boosts the seeking of feedback among employees. Receiving feedback helps professionals to grow, thereby boosting their productivity and your business as a whole.
Delegate and focus on your own work.
If some of your employees cannot keep up, deal with them individually. Depending upon the situation, you might either need to replace an employee with someone who has better qualifications or work rate, or to provide additional training.
2. Stifling Creativity
A creative team is a team that can push you towards innovation, growth and success.
Not letting your team be creative and not encouraging them to develop their creativity is one of the worst mistakes a leader can make.
To promote creativity, you need to allow your employees to showcase their natural talents. You also need to provide encouragement to keep people motivated.
Don’t neglect additional training as well. Get your team together to brainstorm and learn techniques for generating creative ideas.
By teaching various techniques to your team, you can give a boost to those employees who don’t believe themselves to be capable of creativity.
Offer encouragement and support to see their ideas blossom.
Some will say you might want to increase the team’s diversity to boost creativity. This could work to some extent, but according to Harvard Business Review, some potential drawbacks outweigh the gains. A diverse team must be diverse in all the right ways to complement each other without clashing too much.
It’s much more effective to develop creativity in a team that already works smoothly than to introduce elements which could reverse the dynamic.
3. Avoiding Conflict
It’s true that conflict can be detrimental to a team. However, avoiding confrontation when it can be necessary only makes matters worse.
For a leader, conflict is a tool that must be wielded wisely in order to improve the team instead of demoralizing it.
Sometimes, confrontation is necessary so that you don’t let the issues fester.
By avoiding conflict, you are only letting the problem develop, which will distract your business.
It may also irreversibly damage your team. For example, this can happen in a case of workplace bullying when the victim feels they cannot trust you to punish the aggressor.
A good leader must not avoid conflict, but use it to help the team to grow instead. The best thing to do is to externalize it. This means addressing it directly and making the parties involved work through it so that they can come to a compromise.
This will be a learning experience for the employees involved as well as for yourself. Resolving conflicts in a methodical manner will help members of your team to improve their communication, which will result in greater productivity.
Check out this guide to conflict resolution if you should struggle with guiding your team through it.
4. Second-guessing Yourself
A healthy dose of self-doubt is good because it makes you more cautious. However, one of the main traits of a good leader is trust in their own judgment. If you don’t trust yourself, why would your team trust you?
You are responsible for making decisions, and whilst listening to others’ opinions is important, it is more important you go through with what you really believe.
But do beware of becoming too arrogant and blind to constructive criticism.
5. Shifting Blame
One of the worst leadership mistakes is taking credit for success but finding a scapegoat to shift the blame onto in case of failure.
A good leader does the opposite. If your team succeeds, praise and acknowledge the ones who made the biggest contribution.
This recognition will motivate them and their colleagues by inspiration and example.
In the event that your team fails, blame yourself first. You are the leader and no matter who else was involved, you are the one who bears the most responsibility. Recognize this, identify causes of failure, and work on them together with your team.
What Leadership Mistakes Should Be Avoided?
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