Are The Best Leadership Qualities Making You A Bad Manager?

by Dora Wang on Feb 8, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Are The Best Leadership Qualities Making You A Bad Manager?Is there such thing as "too much of a good thing" when it comes to leadership qualities? Unfortunately, yes—even great leaders can sabotage themselves by taking the right traits to the wrong extreme. Take a look below and see if you recognize these hidden traps:

1. Doing lots of work: Good managers pitch in sometimes ... But watch out when a "helping hand" just turns into Big Brother. Your employees have their jobs, so let them do those jobs. Trust them to accomplish what they need to without you monitoring and evaluating every step along the way. Micromanagement indicates a lack of confidence in your people—and you'll lose theirs.

2. Taking your team seriously: Your team will naturally turn to you when they run into high-pressure situations, and you'll want to validate their concerns ... But nothing drains an employee's confidence faster than having their boss panic right alongside them. Lead the way in calmness and assurance (even if you're not quite that calm and assured inside).

3. Being the cool guy (or gal): Don't be a dictator ... But don't try to get on your team's good side by never saying "no." Giving everyone's mistakes a pass or granting every vacation request that comes your way might get employees to see you as easygoing and fun—but a "fun" supervisor won't challenge the team to maximize their potential. And it may leave the team members wondering how much you care about their success.

4. Being friendly: Be human and connect with your team ... But you probably shouldn't set Jim up on a date with your sister or create a bunch of exclusive in-jokes between yourself and Stacy. Your employees need to know that you're a fair boss who treats everyone equally, so don't give them reason to wonder if someone else on the team is getting special treatment because they're your BFF.

That's a lot of telling you what not to do, so how about something you should do?

Making them want something else: Your employees shouldn't be static. Encourage them to develop new skills and explore additional responsibilities. Your workers will become stronger and more engaged if they can grow. It may mean that they'll someday grow out of their role on your team and move on, but depending on the nature of your work, that may not happen. And in the meantime, you'll have a satisfied employee who can do more and be better than you originally expected.

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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