Most people aren’t “born leaders.” Yet many talented HR professionals find themselves facing leadership challenges as a result of being promoted based on work quality, personal potential, and length of service. Rarely is someone just “adequate” yet promoted or hired on leadership skills alone. So managing and leading – a separate skill on its own – is not always easy for all HR professionals to do. We encourage you to assess your own leadership style and be honest with yourself in terms of whether you’re guilty of these management faux pas. But we’re not stopping there – we’re providing specific suggestions to fix each one.
You may not think you’re a micromanager – but ask yourself, how often to you check in with your employees to check on status of various projects and tasks? Micromanaging not only kills creativity and morale – it saps job satisfaction and is often a cause of people removing themselves from an organization.
How to Fix It: Hire people you can trust and then let your employees show you that the way they do things, while they may not be the way you do things, is still an effective way to get the job done. Too often we get caught up in thinking the way we do things is the best way when it isn’t. You should also be open to employee feedback.
Would your employees call you “approachable?” Maybe you become defensive when challenged in a manner that appears as hostile by your team. Maybe your objectivity is impacted in a manner that you take the side that always seems to benefit you, not the organization as a whole.
How to Fix It: Practice and study ways to improve handling feedback or difficult conversations. One excellent resource we’ve used here at Willory is the book Crucial Conversations. Other resources include looking for third-party assistance from a management consultant like our friends at Keylan.
If you are not responsive and hard to get ahold of to provide feedback, you’re leaving your team members to interpret themselves what they should do or even what you’re thinking. Poor communication kills a good culture and builds walls between people and departments that may not have existed with simple, face-to-face dialogue.
How to Fix It: Make sure you’re responding to your team by applying a “Zero-Inbox” rule by scheduling time into each day to respond to messages. You should also setup regular meetings with your team members even if “regular” is as little as every other week for fifteen minutes
It’s okay to feel that you are not the best leader you can be. It shows strong self-awareness and the desire to do better. What isn’t okay is ignoring your faults and doing nothing to fix them. This lack of tenacity to improve can trickle down to employees and cause severe damage to your organization’s culture. Don’t be the problem, instead work to identify and enact solutions.