The New manager – Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Managing people can be a difficult at first. A recent poll found that more than 50% of supervisors received NO training before starting the job. Here is a list of the most common mistakes new supervisors make, so you can avoid making them too.

1. Thinking You Know Everything.
Newly promoted supervisors often think that they already know everything about the job they now manage. Even if this is true (and it probably isn't) they certainly don't know everything about the most important part of their new job - managing people. Listen to the people around you. Ask for their input when appropriate and keep an open mind.

2. Showing Everyone Who's in Charge.
Trust me, everyone in your team knows who the supervisor is. You don't have to make a big show about being "in charge". You do, however, have to demonstrate that, as the supervisor, you are making a positive difference.

3. Changing Everything.
Just because the way something is done isn't the way you would do it, it isn't necessarily wrong. Learn the difference between "different" and "wrong". Don't re-invent the wheel.

4. Being Afraid to do Anything.
Maybe you didn't ask for the promotion. Maybe you are not sure you can do the job. Don't let that keep you from doing the job the best you can. Upper management wouldn't have put you into a supervisory role if they didn't have confidence that you could handle it.

5. Not Taking Time to Get to Know Your Team.
Maybe you have worked alongside the people in your team for years. That doesn't mean you know them. Learn what makes them excited, how to motivate them, what they fear or worry about. Get to know them as individuals, because that's the only way you can effectively manage them. Your team are what will make or break you in your quest to be a good supervisor so give them your attention and your time.

6. Not Spending Time With Your Own Manager.
Since he/she just promoted you, surely he/she understands how busy you are and won't need any of your time, right? Wrong. Your job, just like it was before you became a supervisor, is to help your manager. Make sure you plan time to meet with him/her to both give information and to receive guidance and training.

7. Worrying about Problems or Problem Employees.
You can no longer avoid problems or hope they will work themselves out. When something comes up, it is your job as the supervisor to work out the best solution and get it done. That doesn't mean you can't ask for other's input or assistance, but it does mean you are the person who has to see it gets taken care of.

8. Not Letting Yourself be Human.
Just because you are a supervisor doesn't mean you can't be human, that you can't laugh, or show emotion, or make an occasional mistake. You can.

9. Not Protecting Your Team.
The people in your team will be under pressure from every direction. Other departments may want to blame you for failed interfaces. Your manager may want to dump all the unpleasant jobs on your team. HR may decide the job classifications in your area are overpaid. It's your job to stand up for your people and make sure they are treated as fairly as possible. They will return the loyalty.

10. Avoiding Responsibility for Anything.
Like it or not, as the supervisor you are responsible for everything that happens in your team, whether you did it, or knew about it, or not. Anything anyone in your team does, or doesn't do, reflects on you. You have to build the communications with your team so there are no surprises!

If you work on getting these ten things right then you will start to succeed in your new role. Some supervisory and team leader skills training will also help you.