1. Avoid negative conflicts.
Resolving conflicts, both employee- and customer-related, is an area in which all leaders must excel. To address the conflicts in the right way, it is crucial to understand that there are two types of conflicts:
- Productive conflicts: Productive conflicts are good for business. They are based on being trustworthy and vulnerable towards the person you are communicating with. Everyone must have the freedom to create a productive conflict to acquire new and innovative business ideas. A productive conflict is a healthy conversation between people who share the same goal. In his best-selling book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni states that vulnerability-based trust is essential to achieving productive conflict and building cohesive teams.
- Negative conflicts: When there is no trust, especially vulnerability-based trust, there is no productive conversation either. If a leader shuts down all constructive criticism and treats it as an assault on their character, that can only cause mistrust and prevent others from speaking their mind.
Being a great leader means developing emotional intelligence that will allow you to have enough humility to recognize your own mistakes and understand the difference between positive and negative disagreements.
2. Have a friendly attitude vs. favoritism.
Becoming too friendly towards certain employees can sometimes be a hindrance to good leadership. Having a friendly attitude and beaming with positivity is one thing; becoming too friendly is a whole other situation. A leader who fails to set clear boundaries will face employees who try to take advantage of the situation and ask for special attention. The best way to set boundaries is to treat everyone equally, and of course, adapt to their behavioral style. Do not allow yourself to provide unique benefits for one of the employees and not for others.
3. Remember to stand behind your words.
Leaders who say one thing and do another will lose the trust of their employees. A relationship based on trust is a requirement for healthy business communication. Always be mindful of what you are saying and stand behind your words. Do not allow yourself to look unprofessional because it makes it hard for others to take your words seriously.
4. Pay attention to the needs of your employees.
Not paying attention to the needs of your employees is a big mistake if you want to be an effective leader. You need to be aware of how everyone feels. It can be challenging to balance the needs of the business and the needs of employees, especially if they don’t always go in the same direction. That’s why being a leader is not easy. For example, one of the most common problems is with employees who have to travel too long to get to work. A long commute to get to work is not something everyone can do, especially if they have a family. If most of your employees have this problem, it might be worth considering moving your business to a more optimal location and hiring commercial movers to handle the move, or transitioning to remote work if possible. As a leader, you need to find a solution that will keep your employees engaged and help your business.
Furthermore, it is crucial to always provide feedback to your employees. One-on-one sessions are a must. Failure to provide feedback will prevent your employees from going forward. They will not improve and become better at what they do. Finally, it is also important to ask employees for their feedback. A leader is not a leader if they don’t know how to listen.
5. Avoid the “If you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself!” attitude.
Leaders who don’t have trust in the capabilities of their employees will quickly overburden themselves with work. One of the common leadership mistakes to avoid is to do your employees’ job, whatever the reason might be. If you want to become an effective business leader, you need to learn how to delegate the problem to be solved and oversee tasks from the background. Support your employees in what they do and allow them to show their potential.
6. Show confidence in yourself and your decisions.
As a leader, your word must be final in all decisions. People expect you to take charge and lead. That requires a level of confidence and self-trust in your abilities. Making decisions is not easy, so don’t rush yourself. Listen to everyone, consider all options, and try to make the right decision. Whatever you do, be confident in yourself. Showing self-doubt will present you as an insecure person. Always strive to learn more. The more you know, the more confident you become.
However, it is crucial to understand that all leaders must question themselves. You need to differentiate between providing constructive criticism to yourself and questioning decisions, and questioning your own capabilities as a leader. Have faith in yourself and show others that you know what you are doing.
7. Share your vision.
One of the most important leadership mistakes to avoid is to be a leader without a vision. Having a vision means creating a long-term goal, both for the company and employees. It’s what truly means to be a leader, to see more than others, draw a path of success for everyone around you, and share that goal with the team. Having a vision is a requirement for company growth. People tend not to follow a leader who does not know where they are going.
We hope that these 7 leadership mistakes to avoid will put you on the right path of becoming a successful leader. Remember that you are always learning. The moment you think you know everything is when you stop going forward. Invest in yourself, read books about leadership, attend seminars, and always strive to become the best version of yourself. Contact us to help you implement any of these topics for yourself or your team. We’re only too glad to help.
Good luck on your path to success!