- Blog post
A killer mistake new managers make
New managers must know they are always on stage
In my early years as a manager, one of my favorite employees came into my office and closed the door. She was furious. “You just publicly humiliated me,” she said.
I had no idea what she was talking about. We’d come out of an uneventful meeting where nothing close to a “dressing down” had occurred.
Turns out we were talking about a report she’d prepared. I’d offhandedly remarked that she’d “missed” something.
Now, I suppose I could argue that she was being too sensitive. But that would completely miss the point, which is that everything a boss says and does is magnified.
New managers leave the group
Every new manager eventually figures this out. Initially, new bosses often think they’re “one of the gang” and believe they can continue behaving as they always did. That’s the biggest mistake a new boss can make. You’re NOT one of the gang anymore. You’re in a position of authority. You represent the company.
You’re on stage and everybody is watching everything you do and say.
That gives you tremendous power to do positive things like motivate people, align their behavior with company goals and help coach them in their careers. But it also increases the likelihood that you’ll screw up the way I did — unintentionally embarrassing a person in a meeting.
How about you? As a manager, have you ever forgotten that you’re in the spotlight and said something that came back to haunt you later? Tell us about it in the comments section.