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Three Signs You Might Be a Bad Manager

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The sad truth is, most of us have no clue how to be managers of others. We got promoted into management because we were good at our jobs, we worked hard, and we deserved the recognition. So the natural inclination was to promote us and give us some direct reports. But what does managing people have anything to do with being a great project manager, programmer, marketer, or salesperson? Nothing! Here are three signs you may need to work on your managing skills.


Joffrey1. You don’t know what your employees are working on.

This means you are doing at least two things wrong:

  • Not setting time-oriented goals and objectives for your employees.
  • Not communicating with them.

You should be checking in on the progress of projects you have assigned and asking if they have any questions or need feedback. If you notice that your employees are on YouTube every time you walk by, perhaps they need a heavier workload or added incentives. Or if they are letting deadlines slide to watch cat videos, then it’s time for a serious talk. Don’t guess what they’re thinking; just sit down and talk to them!


Office Space2. You know everything about what your employees are working on, how they’re working on it, and what font they are using.

Ah, the dreaded micro manager. It can be hard to not micro manage when you have given up being amazing at your job in order to become a manager of others who have taken over many of your responsibilities. However, you have to trust that your employees can do a good job with your expert managerial guidance. Remember that just because they don’t do it exactly how you would have, it doesn’t make it wrong! Try to be fair and judge the work against objective standards. Remember that micro managing people (even high performers) severely de-motivates them.


Do-not-care-Ron-Swanson-GIF3. You only know what your employees are working on.

Your direct reports are people. They have families, friends, hobbies, and lives outside the workplace. You don’t have to (and shouldn’t try to be) their best friend, but you should know enough about them to be able to ask how their sick grandmother is doing or how their weekend trip to Miami was. As much as we like to believe that work is all about, well, work, there are still people doing that work and they’ll do it better if they feel they have a cool boss.

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