15 Bad Leadership Habits
Mistakes happen, but when mistakes become habits, they erode your ability to be an effective leader. Even worse, these bad leadership habits can become contagious with your team.
1| Lack of Reflection Time – It’s easy to get distracted with deadlines and neglect setting new goals. Set aside a few minutes at the end of your day to consider what went well, what needs improvement, and reassess your goals moving forward. This personal and professional reflection is your compass to help you stay on course, no matter what the situation.
2| Initiative Deficit – Managers who do the bare minimum make hasty, careless mistakes. Your team will not put in the extra hours to get the job done right if you don’t. Lead by example and go the extra mile to inspire the same actions in others.
3| Micromanagement – Good managers delegate and instill confidence in their teams. Bad managers micromanage and demonstrate a lack of trust. Be specific about your expectations, prioritize goals, and empower your team to meet your highest expectations.
4| Bad Listening Skills – You hired your team members because they are capable, innovative, and have great ideas. Put down the phone and practice active listening when in meetings. Let employees know their ideas are valued.
5| Ignoring Different Opinions – Before making major decisions that affect the entire team, show openness to different perspectives, even when they oppose your views.
6| Poor Follow Through – If you make a promise, keep it. Dropping the ball damages a foundation of trust and respect with coworkers. Before you commit to something, carefully consider whether you can actually get the job done. Most importantly, if something comes up and you can’t keep a promise, own up to it.
7| Taking All the Credit – Leaders who take all the credit show a lack of respect for their coworkers’ contributions. Employees who feel appreciated are happier and work harder, so share spotlight with the people who helped you get there.
8| Risk Management – Even the best-laid plans risk failure, so create a contingency plan for when things go awry and rest easier knowing you’ve got all the bases covered in any scenario.
9| Self-Doubt – Don’t let self-doubt strip your confidence to move forward. A little apprehension and skepticism is normal, but keep it in check. Ask for advice and know you are capable of managing what lies ahead.
10| Finger Pointing – Leaders who are quick to blame others when things go wrong show a lack of integrity and respect for others. Remember: the buck stops with you. Accept responsibility for your role as a manager, learn from mistakes, and move on.
11| Indecisiveness – Don’t be paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision. Indecisiveness makes you appear week and ineffective as a leader. Consider other opinions and trust your instincts to keep the ship moving in the right direction.
12| Negativity – Negativity and sarcasm breeds contempt and antagonism on your team. Be conscious of your words and demeanor when addressing challenges. Use feedback as a way to build up those around you.
13| Know-It-All Attitude – Arrogant leaders think they have all the answers and often alienate themselves from coworkers. Ask for guidance from your team of experts. The information and perspectives you gain will strengthen your relationships and lead to better decisions.
14| Emotional Tyranny – We all have ups and downs, but an effective leader is always a respectful leader. Avoid reacting to crises with emotional outbursts or using anger and disappointment as a form of intimidation. Keeping your cool helps coworkers feel safer around you and opens the channels to greater creativity and problem solving.
15| Neglecting Employee Recognition – When leaders fail to appreciate a job well done, team morale steadily declines. Take the time to express your gratitude in a meaningful way and keep employees motivated to succeed.