Losing the confidence of those you lead. If you, as a leader, have ever been shocked by comments your supervisor reveals were made by your subordinates, you’ve likely made this mistake. This may mean you have not made yourself available or you have not been accommodating. In either course, those you lead have lost faith in your ability as a leader and have reached above you for aid.
Referring to those you lead as “people who work for you.” Those you lead are constituents, associates, coworkers and, above all, individuals with just as much value as you. Undervaluing those structurally subordinate isn’t a way to validate your authority, and by doing so, you adversely undermine your ability to motivate them.
Tasking those you lead versus sharing responsibility. This is likely a result of your focus on your own success rather than the success of the team. A productive environment thrives on inclusiveness, honesty and synergy. “Making” someone do something creates dissonance, on the other hand, sharing responsibility perpetuates effectiveness and efficiency.
Losing sight of the human element. Individuals you lead are comprised of more than a job description. In order to be an effective leader you must possess the 3 Cs: care, concern, compassion. Don’t believe a hard outer shell establishes your dominance. There is little that pushes others away more assuredly than neglect.
Not listening. As a leader, insights come from a variety of sources, none more important than those coming from the individuals you lead. Feeling pressed for time, being arrogant and, again, undervaluing those you lead are all causes of dismissing recommendations from those structurally subordinate.
Jordache Williams is currently based in Rock Hill, SC and is the Program Manager for Atlas Concepts, LLC. He is a Certified Life Coach and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Services.