As a leader you may feel a sense of pressure to establish your leadership. Leadership is a skill that requires continuous development, and mistakes are bound to happen along the way. Below are some common leadership mistakes we see in our line of business. Maybe rising your level of awareness can help you avoid them or rectify them faster.
1. Micromanaging: a common mistake that leaders make, especially when they are new to their role or under pressure or stress. Micromanaging can be detrimental to your team's morale and can make them feel like you don't trust them. From a neuroscience perspective, micromanaging can cause your team to feel stressed, which can lead to a decrease in productivity and creativity. Instead of micromanaging, try delegating tasks to your team and giving them the autonomy to complete them in their own way even with the possibility of them making some mistakes. Mistakes are not necessary bad, they teach us what needs to be done differently.
2. Low levels of empathy: Being a leader means understanding the needs and concerns of your team members. Low levels of empathy can cause your team members to feel like they are not being heard or valued, leading to low engagement and retention rates. From a neuroscience perspective, empathy is essential for building strong relationships with your team members. When we show empathy, we activate the same parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional regulation and social bonding. To avoid this mistake, try to put yourself in your team member's shoes and listen actively to their concerns.
3. Not giving feedback or giving feedback of poor quality: Feedback is essential for growth and development, but many leaders avoid giving feedback, don’t take the time because they don’t prioritize it enough or don’t know how to give feedback of good quality, especially when it's negative. Not giving the necessary feedback or giving bad quality feedback can hinder team members' growth and development.
From a neuroscience perspective, feedback helps activate the reward centers of the brain, which can motivate your team members to improve. To avoid this mistake, try to give constructive feedback regularly and focus on specific behaviors that need improvement, rather than criticizing your team members.
4. Difficulty adapting to change: The world is constantly changing, and leaders who fail to adapt risk becoming irrelevant. Clinging to traditional methods, can lead to outdated practices and missed opportunities for innovation. Our brains are wired to resist change, which can make it difficult to adapt. To avoid this mistake, try to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in your field, and be open to new ideas and approaches.
5. Low levels of self-awareness: Leaders who have low levels of self-awareness may not realize how their behavior is affecting their team members. Not being aware of your strengths and weaknesses, can cause you to make decisions that negatively impact your team members and the organization as a whole. From a neuroscience perspective, self-awareness is important for emotional regulation and decision-making.
To avoid this mistake, try to get feedback from your team members, and be open to constructive feedback. Also, take the time to reflect on your behavior and how it impacts those around you.
It's important to note that these mistakes can happen at any age. Even though leadership mistakes are inevitable, by being aware of them, you can work to avoid them or reduce their negative feedback. These mistakes can have a greater impact on your leadership journey, making it crucial to be aware of them and work on overcoming them.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can build stronger relationships with your team members, promote productivity and creativity, and ultimately become more effective leaders. And even if mistakes are at your door get curious about what learnings you can get out of your mistakes.
Take the time to reflect on your leadership style and think about whether you are making any of these common mistakes. Identify one or two areas that you can work on improving, and make a plan to implement changes. Remember that leadership is a skill that requires continuous development, and by being aware of your mistakes, you can become a better leader.
If you would like to assess your leadership you may try our Leadership Assessments. They have provided guidance to many leaders facing different challenges.
Here’s what some leaders have said:
"Thanks for a rewarding meeting with you! I feel strengthened with the help of reflection that results in wise insights. " Vice CEO
"New to focus on emotion instead of output. To focus on what I want." Quality manager
"Now I have a concrete action plan to move forward with. " Team leader