Do you know the Peter Principle? It was a management theory developed by a man called Lawrence Peter in 1968.
It says that people rise to their level of incompetence. They get promoted based on their good performance in previous roles. Once they reach a role where they perform poorly, they don’t get promoted further and stay where they are.
It’s really easy to fall into this trap if, as a first time manager, you aren’t provided with the training and skills needed to effectively manage a team.
Here’s 9 signs that you may be a bad manager who needs to brush up on team management skills.
1. You care a lot about title and status and think of yourself as someone’s boss.
This has to do with how you see power and what is your relationship with power. A manager’s role is and should be one of service - you are serving the team you are leading by helping them be their highest performing self at work.
2. You aren’t open to feedback and want to do things your way.
Magic only happens when you move outside your comfort zone. So watch yourself carefully when team members want to voice their opinions or request something outside of what you’re used to dealing with.
3. You often point to the rulebook.
Requests such as leaving earlier; coming in later, taking longer lunch breaks really annoy you. Your standard response is to refer people to the company policy, rather than really listen to the request. It’s hard to develop loyalty and trust with someone who always points to the rulebook.
4. You are putting out fires most of the day, dealing with urgent issues without much time to get your own work done.
That’s usually a sign of poor time management, lack of delegation and ineffective prioritising.
5. You have a lot of turnover in your team.
The number depends on many factors, but a rate of 40% or more is bad in any situation. It’s a sign that there’s no connection within the team.
6. You complain that people in your team rely on you too much.
That often goes hand in hand with #1 - considering yourself to be the boss. It’s a sign of spoonfeeding - which ironically is a euphemism for being controlling.
As I said before, being a manager means removing obstacles for your team and letting them be their best. If they rely on you too much, you’re not empowering them. And you’re shooting yourself in the foot because you don’t have time to deal with your own stuff.
7. Your team doesn’t come to you with requests to go on a course or learn a new skill.
Or they have and, by default, you have declined because there was too much work to do. It’s a sign that you’re being too operational and focused on day-to-day work, without being strategic, forward-thinking.
Also, you don’t care much about retention. If your people don’t grow, they will leave.
8. You feel like you can’t let your guard down in front of your team, because it may look like you’re not in control.
That’s a sign of low trust in others. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of others is the key to building trust.
9. You rely on HR a lot to deal with the toxic issues that may be coming up in your team.
If you don’t want to see or don’t care why, where or how issues in your team are coming up, then you shouldn’t be a manager.
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If you have recognised yourself in some of these, then that’s a good first sign! Use this as an opportunity to work on them so you can become a great manager.
And helping people become better managers is our sweet spot here at HR360ltd.
We have been training leaders in small and mid-sized tech businesses for many years now, so if you’re watching this video, I would love to talk to you.
Get in touch here to schedule an informal chat over the phone.
Or add or follow me on LinkedIn to tune in next week when I will cover 7 habits you have to develop to check if you’re on a path towards improvement.
In the meantime, be the best you can be!