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Mistakes Managers Make. . .

by Christine Corelli

Throughout my working career as a speaker and consultant, I've encountered a number of management attitudes and behaviors that can hold back an organization's success.  Although some of these may not be consciously exhibited, the lack of awareness of such behaviors is usually 75% of the battle. The impact can be unhappy customers, poor morale, disgruntled employees, low productivity and a stressful environment for all concerned. 

Below are five major mistakes I've seen managers make that can prevent an organization from moving forward.

1. Failing to "Lead by Example."

"You can buy a man/woman's time. You can even buy their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you can't buy their loyalty or the devotion of their hearts and souls.  These you must EARN" (Clarence Francis)

Leading by example, or "walking your talk" is critical to true leadership.  You will never earn the respect of others if your example is not congruent with the values of honesty, integrity, fairness, professionalism, and ethics.  The best managers practice integrity.

It's not what you eat but what you digest that makes you strong.
Not what you read but what you remember that makes you learned.
Not what you gain but what you save that makes you rich.
Not what you profess, but what you practice that gives you integrity.
Practice integrity. (unknown) 

2.  Not Listening

You need to get out from behind your desk or cubicle and talk to your people in your company and in the field. Then, ASK QUESTIONS. Be sure to listen with both your eyes and ears. Also, if your culture is such that employees are encouraged to come forth with their ideas and you don't listen, you will end up managing a bunch of robots who go through the motions of their job and never put their hearts and souls into their work. 

Listen and discover opportunities to take action to improve operations, procedures, policies and customer care.

Listen to the voice of your customer and respond to them in a manner that builds strong relationships with them. Quality customer relationships breed long-term profitability.

3.  Failure to Train and Develop Staff

Assuming your staff will eventually "catch-on" or automatically know how to service customers is a major mistake. Fail to train people in customer service, leadership, sales, communication, and team skills and your organization's competencies will decline. Encourage professional development and make training a high priority for everyone. 

4.  Communicating Poorly

Failing to keep your people informed on what's happening and why, not explaining your expectations, or why you must institute change without honest and "open" communication would not only be highly ineffective, but is definitely not a characteristic of managerial excellence. You must clearly articulate and communicate effectively, energize your people, and keep people inspired. 

5.  Motivating by Fear

This went out with the typewriter.  Don't be too impressed with your title, and if you have a big stick throw it out.  Motivate people with strong leadership skills: bring out the best in them. Recognize, reward, encourage and appreciate them. 

The whole team makes it happen. Everyone on your team play an important role in the overall success of your company. Give credit where credit is due, and make sure they feel they are a strong part of your company.  Show them you care as much about them as you care about your profits. 

Make people feel they are working with you, not for you.

Your main purpose as a manager is to lead your organization into a successful future. If you want to achieve managerial excellence, be sure no one in a management position is making these damaging mistakes.  

Bring Christine to your next meeting or conference. She is an international business speaker who speaks from EXPERIENCE, not textbook theory, and is the author of "Wake Up and Smell the Competition - They're Closer Than You Think"  - How to Compete and Win in Today's Real World" . For information on her speaking and training programs call 352-438-0261 [email protected]   www.ExpertSpeaker.com/Speakers/corelli.htm

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