Management Challenge Program Designer Kate McLagan is penning our latest blog series “Top 5 Mistakes Managers Make”. Over the next five weeks, Kate will explore these critical mistakes that managers make in their relationships with their direct reports. Read on for Part 3: Failing to Make Time for Team. Click here to read Mistake #2.
Manager Mistake #3: Failing to Make Time For a Team
Most of us grew up with the paradigm that being a manager is about operations, programs and productivity. Managers are constantly pressed for time budgeting, planning, meetings, focusing on results and the countless other things that crowd their daily calendars. As a result, most managers underinvest in one-on-one time or coaching with employees. And in the limited time they do dedicate to coaching, managers often micromanage employees, telling them exactly what to do and how to do it. As Stephen Covey wrote: “Most organizations are over-managed and under-led.”
Managing and coaching are two very different activities. Managing is all about telling, directing, authority, addressing immediate needs, and reaching a specific outcome. Coaching involves exploring, facilitating, partnership, long-term improvement, and many possible outcomes. In business, we have to be both coaches and managers. Where’s the majority of your time spent? Chances are that each of your direct reports could benefit from your coaching in some way. Employees whose managers spend time coaching express more satisfaction and commitment because the coaching skill is focused on the talent of the person, and not on the production of the job.
Avoid This Mistake:
- Make yourself accessible and available
- Guide, inspire, recognize and praise on a regular and frequent basis
- Hold morale building meetings around a milestone or things that make you successful
- Involve employees, solicit their opinions, and explore individual needs and drivers