Having been in a management position for the better part of two decades, I have made most mistakes that a manager could. Some of these mistakes have been painful, but for the most part they have been enlightening.
Learning from our mistakes is the best education we can get, as we personally experienced the situation first hand. There is not a better teacher than personal experience.
When I think of the mistakes that I have made, three things come to my mind very quickly about possible reasons that I may have made them.
1. Thinking, because I was placed in a management position, I must have all of the answers. It was not that I thought I had all of the answers, I felt that I should have all of the answers. Learning to manage and direct others is an ongoing lesson. My biggest help in this area came from having other more experienced managers that I could go to and gain wisdom from their insight and experience. I still do this today.
2. Not taking the time to see the big picture when it came to making changes in the office. Change is difficult as best with most employees. Learning to see what might be a challenge when making a change and then talking about the change with your employees prior to making changes helps. Time and preparation for everyone involved is a big plus to making any change successful.
3. Not being specific enough in communication with staff members. Just because you tell someone to clean the bathroom, does not mean that they will clean the bathroom how you would want it done. Giving specific instructions with details and demonstration is the best way to make sure that your employees understand what you are trying to communicate to them. This too is an ongoing lesson.
I have learned a lot and would not trade any of the people challenges I have encountered for anything. The lessons are all pearls in my treasure chest.
What pearls do you have to share?