Let’s face it — all managers want to be good managers. I mean, I don’t think anyone has ever set out to be a bad one! But some people find themselves building patterns of management style that aren’t healthy for their employees, their team or their company without meaning it. If you’re questioning whether your management skills could use some improvement, here are some tell-tale signs that you need to work on your leadership.
As a leader, you cannot expect your employees to assume essential information. According to Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Company, in order to employees need crucial information regarding projects, meetings, and more in order to succeed. And they rely on managers to give them that crucial information.
“Consider why your team doesn’t have the information they need, and own that shortcoming yourself,” Lew wrote. “Good leaders know it’s on themselves to make sure the team knows what they need to know.”
According to Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullshit, “If all your team members smile and nod whenever you say something, it means that they've decided that it's better just to agree with you than to risk getting shot down.”
You want your employees to feel free to speak up and not only give their own ideas, but critique yours as well. A good manager allows her employees to feel comfortable enough pitching ideas.
While reflecting back on your management days, if you cannot recall a single time in which you were wrong (and actually admitted you were wrong), you could probably improve your management skills. Managers are given their responsibilities because they are good at what they do, but no one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and a good manager recognizes that and admits her wrongs when they occur.
Lew claims this is a sign of a bad manager. Managers should set a positive example for their employees, and by not staying late yourself, you’re setting a bad example.
“It’s a statement to your employee that you don’t value them or their time. Reexamine if you’re modeling the behavior yourself that you’d like your employees to exhibit,” Lew said.
Probably one of the more recognizable signs of poor leadership, your management style could be the cause of your retention troubles.
“Really talented people don't stick around where their talents are being wasted, which is always the case when they've got lousy managers,” James said.
“Your reluctance to hand things off to your team is a telling sign that you’re slipping into becoming a bad manager,” Lew said. Good managers want to help their employees become better, and getting better always involves making mistakes. Plus, when you won’t let your workers do anything on their own, they know you think they will fail.
“A great leader knows that the crux of teamwork is equipping others with the ability to do things right and trusting that they will,” she wrote.