Productivity Hacks

10 Common Management Mistakes

Managing people is hard. Sometimes, it can feel like there are a million different things you need to do and just not enough time to do them all. That's why it's important to learn from the mistakes that other managers make so that you don't make them yourself—and save your sanity in the process!


Trust is an essential part of leadership. It's important that you trust your team members to get the job done, make decisions and use their initiative. Without it, they may not feel comfortable making decisions or taking risks on behalf of the company.

You also need to trust that your employees will make the right choices at all times. In some situations, you can't afford to second-guess every decision or action taken by your team members—you need them to be confident in their own abilities without needing constant oversight from above.

Finally: trust your employees' judgment in more personal matters too, such as whether they should have time off for a family emergency or a vacation with friends; these things are outside of the scope of work but can still affect productivity if allowed for appropriately

Not providing clear direction

Providing clear direction is a cornerstone of good management. When employees are not sure what they're supposed to be doing, they're likely to waste time and energy on irrelevant tasks. If you want your team members to succeed at their jobs, it's important that you give them the tools they need to do so—and that means giving them clear direction.

This can seem like an obvious point, but managers often make this mistake because they forget how important it is for their teams' success and happiness in general. Instead of micromanaging every aspect of the team's work, focus on providing your employees with enough information about expectations so that they can make decisions about how best to perform their duties. This will keep them happy and focused on getting things done well rather than feeling oppressed by unrealistic demands or lack thereof from management (which can lead to burnout).

For remote workers in particular—such as those working for virtual companies like ours here at Lemonade—it may be tempting just assume everyone knows exactly what needs doing from day-to-day without ever specifying anything out loud until there's some kind of problem happening on site where someone needs guidance addressing whatever issue came up unexpectedly during operation hours that day."

Assuming that subordinates should understand goals

You should help your employees understand the goals of the business and explain how they are set.

This can be done by giving clear explanations about what needs to be achieved and why this is important. You should also stress that everyone has a role to play in achieving these goals, including you. Make sure that your employees know what their responsibilities are and how they relate to the overall goal of the company. It's also important for them to understand that there may be times when their personal goals will differ from those of the business, but it doesn't mean they're not important or valuable—it just means there may be some conflict between personal interests and corporate ones at certain points in time (and this is normal).

Unclear decision-making process

Before you even begin the process of establishing a fitness goal, it's important to make sure that your mindset is in a place where you can achieve what you're setting out to do. If your mind is not focused on achieving a specific goal, then everything else will be harder or impossible.

Every good manager knows that goals should be set before any other steps are taken toward reaching them. Goals are an essential part of any organization's long-term planning and strategy, but they can also help individuals focus their efforts on improving their health and fitness much more effectively than if they didn't have these benchmarks in mind.

The first step in setting your own personal fitness goals involves defining them clearly and concretely so that everyone involved knows exactly what needs to happen in order for progress toward the goal to occur at all times (and so there aren't any misunderstandings). This doesn't mean simply stating “I want to lose weight” or “I want six-pack abs”—it means specifying how many pounds/kilograms need trimmed off through dieting or exercising; how many miles/kilometers must be run each week; how many repetitions must be completed per session; etcetera...

Interfering with work completion

  • Trust your employees and allow them to do their jobs.
  • Don’t micromanage. When you get too involved in the details, it can be a sign of lack of trust or confidence in your employees.

Having one answer to all questions

  • Have a process for answering questions. You should have a standard process for answering questions, and I recommend that you ask your team to follow it as well. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page about how to handle specific situations.
  • Have a process for escalating questions. When something comes up that needs further investigation or discussion, it’s important to make sure the right people are involved in the conversation from the beginning so they can weigh in with their expertise and contribute to finding a solution or decision-making process. If this kind of escalation isn't possible at first, make sure you document why not so that next time there's no confusion when someone tries again!

Not listening to employees' concerns

If you're a manager, listening is one of the most important skills you can have. Listening to what your employees and customers say helps you to understand them—and that understanding lets you build a better product or service.

Listening also helps with giving feedback: if an employee doesn't know what's wrong, they can't fix it. If your team is constantly misinterpreting requests from customers or each other, it's probably because no one took time to listen and ask questions about what the other person meant when they said something.

Effective listening takes practice—but here are some tips that may help:

  • Be quiet (no texting or checking emails while someone else is talking)
  • Give eye contact so that people feel like they're being heard accurately and completely (look at them when they finish speaking)
  • Ask questions when something isn't clear; this gives people room for elaboration without cutting them off too early

Being bossy instead of being a leader

In the workplace, there's a clear difference between being a leader and being bossy. Leaders are focused on the future, while bosses are more concerned with how things are done today. Leaders take care of their team members; bosses try to control them.

Leaders identify what needs to be done and create an environment where people can do their best work; bosses put pressure on others to perform well under stress. Leaders look at results; bosses worry about process.

In short: leadership is about getting other people to perform well so that you can achieve your goals as a group, while bossiness is about controlling others in order to get what you want out of them individually (and often without regard for those same people).

Abusing power

Abuse of power happens when someone in a position of authority uses that authority to intimidate, threaten, or coerce another person. It may be subtle—for example, it could involve a manager who comments on an employee’s appearance or body when the employee is not dressed for work. Or it could be more overt—for example, a manager who repeatedly makes sexual advances toward an employee.

The first step to preventing abuse of power is understanding what constitutes abuse (and where you can find examples). What might seem like harmless teasing or joking may actually be hurtful and degrading if you don't know how to handle it. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by their actions, speak up! People who respect themselves don't tolerate mistreatment from others simply because they're afraid that speaking up will get them into trouble with their bosses or coworkers. You have as much right as anyone else to say no without being ridiculed for standing up for yourself; so go ahead and say something if someone's behavior crosses over into this territory!

Failure to plan ahead

Failure to plan ahead is a common mistake.

It's easy to fall into this trap: you're so busy with other things that you forget to plan, and then when it comes time for your big project or event, it's too late! But if you think about what needs done and put it on your calendar in advance, everything will be much easier.

If you're working on a team, planning can help everyone be more efficient. You can all work together to decide who does what part of the project and then set up schedules for each person so you won't overlap (and waste time). If the project is large enough, it may even need its own schedule with collaborators from different departments working together as well as separately.

Avoid these mistakes to manage your team better.

  • Avoid micromanaging.
  • Provide clear direction. If you don't know what your employees are working on or why, it's hard for them to understand their goals or priorities. If you're not sure what the big picture looks like, let them tell you about it—ask them for their opinions and insights into the company's mission and direction, then listen carefully before setting clear expectations for how they'll achieve those goals.
  • Don't assume that your team understands your goals and priorities; make sure that everyone is on board with what needs to be accomplished before moving forward with a project or task at hand (more about this here). Being clear about these things will prevent confusion and miscommunication later down the road when something doesn't go according to plan—and believe me when I say those moments will happen! Asking questions now will save both time and headaches down the road by preventing unnecessary stress at work."


Avoiding these mistakes will help you to manage your team better. You’ll be able to delegate tasks with confidence, and your employees will feel more comfortable approaching you with ideas and concerns. Good luck!

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