Three Common Mistakes for Managers

John Krautzel
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Whether you're an experienced supervisor or a first-time manager, it's easy to fall prey to common management mistakes. No matter what your position, there is always room for growth. By staying aware and being willing to change, you can learn from your mistakes and develop a more effective management style.

Focusing on Compliance Rather than Commitment

One of the most common management mistakes is to forget commitment and focus instead on forcing employees to fall in line. Some managers, preoccupied with job security and responsibility to the company, fall into this trap accidentally when pushing for productivity. Others get wrapped up in the power of their positions and forget that the best teams act of their own accord — not because they are forced to do so by a dictatorial manager. New managers often find that this is one of the most difficult management mistakes to avoid, particularly when they are figuring out how to wield authority effectively.

According to The Wall Street Journal, controlling the people that report to you only fosters blind compliance. An overly authoritative management style alienates people rather than inspiring commitment to the goals of the team. As a result, your employees are unlikely to take the initiative to develop unique solutions.

Not Providing Feedback

When your schedule gets full and responsibilities get tough, it is easy to make one of the most dangerous management mistakes: lack of communication. In order for a team to grow and strengthen, each employee needs to understand what they are doing right and what areas need improvement. When you are managing people, it is tempting to wait for performance reviews to offer constructive feedback. In doing so, you'll allow mistakes to continue and waste valuable time that could be used for employee development.

The lack of regular feedback leads to a variety of missed opportunities. Without it, it is difficult to strengthen relationships, create an atmosphere of open communication and demonstrate to employees that you are invested in them as individuals.

Failing to Delegate

In addition to managing people, most managers have a full workload of their own. Instead of passing some of the work on to team members, it can be tempting to play superhero and shoulder all of the tasks without complaining. The failure to delegate is one of the most exhausting management mistakes — and it often has unexpected ramifications. When you are completely focused on individual tasks, it's difficult to make yourself available to the team. Without time for team-building and communication, your effectiveness as a manager takes a nosedive. Your team members may feel that you don't have enough confidence in their abilities to trust them with important work, which can sabotage morale. Over time, you'll end up with high stress levels or complete burnout.

Managers inevitably fall prey to common management mistakes at some point in their career. By staying aware and committing to constant improvement, you can improve your skills and build a stronger, more effective team.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at


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  • Keith Compton
    Keith Compton

    The beginning of the first sentence in "Failing to Delegate" went right through me. The difference, in my mind, between leadership and management is why. I'm of the opinion that the nuts and bolts of any business can only be "managed". You can never lead them. They don't have ears or legs. You can try but you'll only be wasting your time. People on the other hand can be lead. Unfortunately they can also be managed. If you find yourself constantly "managing" people one of two things is going on and it needs to change right now. Either your not cut out for the job or you have the wrong people. Most people can manage all on their own. There has been untold volumes written concerning both subjects, leadership and management. I do have a degree in business and owned my own for a number of years. After pulling back all the layers on the leadership and management onions I truly believe that it comes down to this. Manage what you buy, lead what you pay. To me the dividing line between management and leadership is that clear. Any takers on that one?


    This is a great read for management and team employees alike. A great inside look for all!

  • Darlene R.
    Darlene R.

    So true you have said a mouth full.

  • Francisco M.
    Francisco M.

    In my belief, all of that is true about the mistakes of a manager. The ultimate keys to improving these issues are priorities, time management, and persistance.

  • Kathleen D.
    Kathleen D.

    When addressing a problem with a good employee always Start with a Positive, address the negative and follow up with a positive. With this you gain the results you are looking for and not an angry employee.

  • Joseph Boyd
    Joseph Boyd

    You are a teacher and mentor first and a student second.

  • Donna B.
    Donna B.

    Do not manage from an office, do not show favoritism and always talk to and listen to what your employees have to say.

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