3 Mistakes Leaders Make when it comes to Managing their Staff
There are vast differences between skills, attributes and techniques – and attitude, values and belief. Skills, attributes and techniques can either be learned by a person’s own interest; or they can be taught to him if he is capable of grasping things. However, attitude, values and belief cannot be taught that easily, and are difficult to learn and apply. It takes time to get our attitudes and values to change. The qualities mentioned above are a few of the decisive factors for an individual. It distinguishes a team-member from a leader. While a team-member possess the learn-able skills, it is the leader who possesses qualities like attitude, belief and values. A leader who has these qualities these is regarded as someone who can be looked up to; if not, he is considered unfit for the position.
In general, leaders who are good at managing their staff possess these qualities and set themselves apart from the rest. While those who do not end up being the butt of all jokes and a fulcrum for gossip. In many situations, leaders are completely ignorant about how to handle people in their workplace. Such leaders tend to make one or more of the following three mistakes, and end up failing miserably.
People are People Too!
One of the major mistakes leaders make in managing their staff is failing to enumerate them in the group ‘Homo Sapiens’! Some leaders feel that the employees work for them, which is discordant to the fact that they work with them. A leader should recognize his employees as people, and interact with them – not as a person of higher rank, but as a colleague and collaborator. This does not mean that he should turn into a counselor or a psychiatrist and start sorting out their problems. It simply means that he should learn to look at things from their perspective as well as his own.
Listening but Not Hearing
Speaking, convincing and negotiating skills are vital, oh yes. But there is another skill that is even more vital and crucial for leaders. It is called listening skills. Among the more critical of skills for a leader, listening skills will help sort out numerous issues and misunderstandings. It is one of the essential qualities of a leader. The mistake some of the leaders make is: they seldom listen to their employees; or else, even if they do, they don’t really hear what they are saying. Their presumption of having more knowledge – and an ego to match – ensures that they are the least bit interested in listening to what their employees are trying to say. Even if the employees have something valuable to say, they do not tend to care. This makes their co-workers feel rejected, disrespected and deprived of their recognition. Therefore, a good leader must first learn to listen before he speaks. He must make sure his employees open up to him boldly – in the firm belief that they will be heard, and their opinions valued.
Failure in Communicating Effectively
Communication is right next to listening, as far as skills are concerned. A person is considered a leader when he is clear in his thoughts and is able to let his employees know – through effective communication – what he wants to convey. A lot of leaders fail to do this, and this results in the mismanagement of their employees. They fail to give clear instructions, but expect full compliance with them. A leader must realize that communication is only as effective as the accuracy of the message received; so, no matter how eloquent he is, he must make sure that the message has been understood clearly and with no ambiguity.
These are three of the major mistakes most leaders make when it comes to managing their staff. Looking into these components of leadership and rectifying them will pave the way for a better work-flow, and will help leaders earn the respect of their employees – their companies’ most valuable asset.