When you're the person in charge, there's often very little room for error. What you say or do directly impacts the business. From your team to your reputation, there's a certain level of expectation that comes with the job. And if you don't meet them, the consequences can be fast and furious.
We all make mistakes. Whether we like to admit it or not, every leader slips up. Unfortunately, not every leader realizes it. And it's not just new managers who are common offenders. Even the most seasoned leaders with decades on their resume can often make these mistakes without even realizing its repercussions.
Here are three common mistakes that you've made (or are making) and how to quickly recover.
1. You're all business.
Emails, meetings, travel...I get it, you're busy. We all are. Schedules that are jam-packed means there is very little time to develop relationships within the office that go beyond a nod in the hallway.
Unfortunately, this is becoming a problem. When your staff can't relate to their boss, they're not going to feel a sense of loyalty or inclusion. They're also not going to feel like their work matters, or that their contributions are valued.
If you want passionate staff, then you have to be passionate leader. That doesn't mean you need to invite them over for dinner. However, you do need to ask about something in their lives that has nothing to do with a deadline, project, or other work-related topic.
How about the next time you nod in the hallway, you stop and ask them how their weekend was? No one is too busy for a 30 second conversation that could make the difference between an employee who feels valued and an employee that feels ignored. Make the effort.
2. You forgot about someone.
An employee has asked to sit down with you and discuss some new ideas they have. Three months later, you still haven't done it.
When schedules shift and plans change, forgetting to follow-up with someone can easily happen. So if you're realizing that you still owe that a sit-down, you need to act immediately.
If you don't, you're telling them that they're not important enough for you to make time for. You probably don't intend to come across this way, but actions speak louder then words (and right now, they're screaming).
When this happens, immediately call the person (which will be more meaningful than sending an email) and apologize for not scheduling a meeting sooner. Tell them you're really eager to hear what they say, and then set a date. Do not reschedule. Show up on time and be ready to listen. You owe them that much.
3. You brush it off.
If there's one piece of advice you should take away from this article, it's to admit your mistakes. The ability to be vulnerable and reflective are two qualities that separate great leaders.
Trying to appear like you're perfect is exhausting. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean your mistakes don't need to be addressed. Lead by example, not by title. If you expect employees to own their slip ups, then you better be ready to do the same thing.
Admitting your faults doesn't make you look weak. It makes you human. It also makes you relatable, transparent and honest. And who wouldn't want to work for someone like that?