Monthly Archives: January 2011

Men at Work Singing of You?

December marked the two year mark for me at the Norman, Oklahoma, Convention and Visitors Bureau. As expected, this has been a tremendous, tremendous professional growth opportunity. I joined a DMO right at the brink of full-scale transition and have experienced a “re-branding”, a complete staff re-engineering, and a 75% turnover of the Board to hit the highlights. But it hasn’t all been smooth.

I’ve had Men At Work’s “It’s A Mistake” ringing in my ears a time or two. I alienated a core committee and group of volunteers. It haven’t had the best of relationships with a hotelier and my predecessor who is still in the community. As I annually take time to reflect on the year past and what I could have done better, I perused common mistakes managers make. They’re from numerous sources and are – January’s Five @ 5:

1. Not being flexible to change and open to new ideas. Be open to what employees have to say. Even if you don’t always agree. At least acknowledge them. It shows you’re open-minded and a good listener. park of being an effective manager or supervisor means practicing good listening skills.

2. Changing everything. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Just because the way something is done isn’t the way you would do it, it isn’t necessarily wrong. Learn the difference between “different” and “wrong.”

3. Not acknowledging that you do not have all the answers. A Good manager does not make the mistake of trying to solve every problem. Seeking help from individuals with expertise in specific areas is a sign of strength, not weakness. In addition, a good manager must understand that his or her way is not the only way to do the job.

4. The glass is always half empty. Managers who continually focus on the negatives, without recognizing positive achievements or employee accomplishments, end up with employees who are not motivated and often have one foot out the door looking for a more positive work environment.

5. Too much technology. A new breed of managers are more tech-savvy than they are comfortable handling and managing people. Embracing technology is a key to success in the modern office environment, but not at the risk of embracing people skills. Do not hide behind e-mails and other technology.

Whether you’re a newly appointed manager or working on your gold watch, these mistakes managers make will create a more enjoyable work experience for you and your employees.