Leaders over time, if not careful, can find themselves in a self-made bubble or with blinders on as to what is going on around them. This lack of awareness can lead to mistakes which can erode the trust your team has in you. Opening up your awareness to when you make mistakes will help you learn from them and improve your leadership style.
Consider these common leadership mistakes and ways to avoid them:
- Ignoring feedback. Negative feedback is sometimes uncomfortable to hear and yet it also helps you see your blind spots. We all have blind spots. Doing regular check-ins with your team members allows you to course change as needed before things build up and get out of hand.
- Feeling indispensable. If you were gone tomorrow, your department/company will not fall apart, even though we secretly wish it would because we know best. Take stock of your success and be open to learning from other’s feedback.
- Lack of communication. Relevant, frequent, transparent, clear communication is critical to any leader and their team’s success. Without it, your team is in the dark not knowing what you want. Make sure they know the mission, your vision, and get their input on what the best direction is in solving the task, and then make the decision and get out of the way.
- Being critical all the time. We all can fall into the trap of starting any conversation with what is wrong and forget to at least start the conversation with what you liked about the project, report, etc. It is also important to remember to celebrate your team members in a team meeting or email to point out their successes on a regular basis.
- Putting off difficult decisions. Whether it is telling the team there are revisions, or money tightening or avoiding that difficult conversation, it is better for all involved and especially yourself to not put them off. Stepping up to the plate during difficult times is a great way to show your team why you are the leader.
We all make mistakes. It is how we all learn. Use these strategies to help learn and grow as a leader. Your team will appreciate your effort with more engagement and trust. Being a leader is an ever-evolving craft. Step into your leadership style and continue to always improve.
Please share how you learn from your mistakes in the comments below.
If you would like help becoming the leader you have always wanted to be, please reach out!