We do a lot of work with new leaders and managers who often get really frustrated when things are not working out the way they hoped.  Management is a steep learning curve.

We don’t always realise when we are starting out, that we have entered a big phase of learning about ourselves. (This never ends)

It takes a bit of getting used too as we travel along the journey and no matter how careful we are, the managing game knocks us of our manager perch but actually that is a good thing. It is the place where most learning takes place!

At first when I was starting out in management nobody told me that leaders are prone to take risks, and those risks may cause others to see us as ‘losers,’ especially if leaders don’t have full knowledge of what they are getting into before they become involved. Some mistakes come from thinking so radically that it’s impossible to know how taking a chance will turn out.

In this blog series we are going to be exploring some of the ways new managers can aim high when it comes to learning about themselves and engaging with their teams.

If it turns out well, the leader is a hero. If not, serious consequences may be the result.

There are some common mistakes made by most leaders that are avoidable if you know some leadership strategies. Here are five common mistakes which can and should be avoided if you’re in a leadership role:

1. Focusing on tasks rather than reaching the ultimate goal.

Focusing too much on “busy work” can keep you from getting the results you want and desire from a team. Great leaders tend to focus on the end results being reached more than being busy and engaged in tasks all the time.

2. Checking up on employees rather than engaging them.

Making it a point to get to know your team members and engage them in conversation can help you pinpoint what makes them tick and how to bring out the best in them to achieve your aims. It is important to get your vision across, and you can’t do that if you merely check in once in a while.

3. Not sticking to your own leadership style.

You can learn from other leaders in history and in your business, but don’t mimic them when it comes to your leadership style.  Learn from them.

Develop your own style and stick to it to become a leader who stands out from the crowd. Showing up and being your best self will inspire others. (But also learn as much as you can about great and successful leaders.)

4. Resisting change.

If you do what you have always done and it doesn’t take you, your team or your business forward, is doing what you have always done really the answer? One reason for getting stuck is becoming overwhelmed with the complex tasks and responsibilities that leaders must take on and exhausted just thinking about changing anything!

If you want your business or team to prosper and grow, take some time to expose yourself to new ideas and apply them. This will impact your leadership ability in a positive way.

5. Assuming others are doing what you asked.

I definitely learned this the hard way.

I would set people tasks and just assume they were getting on with it. I wasn’t always checking back in with them and would often end up finding tasks undone when I really needed them done.

Set up a simple, non intrusive way of checking in often with your team.

In social care the best place to do this and one of the things many managers tend to avoid, is the daily handover. Not only can you be visible and leading your team from the point of go, you can be gently reminding people about what you need from them and helping them achieve the results you want.

Never assume anything!