6 Ways You May Be Driving Your Team Crazy and Don’t Even Know It

123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s note: TLNT is continuing an annual tradition by counting down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 15. Our regular content will return next Monday.

Even the very best leaders have habits that can sometimes make their teams completely crazy.

Beware of these favorites that have been known to cause mumbling under the breath, a twitch, or a knowing look within the team.

Go ahead and ask yourself: Do any of these look familiar?

1. One person’s problem becomes the team’s problem

Angie never turns her reports in on time and they are never accurate. Sounds like it’s time to call the team together for a meeting to emphasize the importance of timely, accurate reports! Meanwhile, everyone knows its Angie’s problem and they are wondering why you don’t.

Save everyone time and have a conversation with Angie about expectations. It isn’t a team problem, it’s an Angie problem.

2. Managing by email

Have a performance issue? Send an email.

See errors that are causing problems with a client? Send an e-mail.

Want to check in on the anxious new just-out-of-college hire? Yes, send an email.

In business today, email is clearly the communication channel of choice. But, you need to slow down and recognize when it just doesn’t fit the situation. Conversations are needed for the sensitive, the critical, or when you need to show support.

Email can only do so much, so show some email restraint. Pick up the phone. If you are in the same office, you could even talk in person!

3. Keep giving ideas when the team is implementing

There is a time and place for new ideas — and it’s not when your team is communicating the new process to the rest of the organization, or the day before the new product is being introduced.

Agree when you are moving out of idea stage and into delivery and execution. Stand by it. Be a role model and save your new ideas for 2.0. Know when to stop.

4. Assuming that hitting send = same time they’ll answer

Some issues are urgent and require immediate attention, but most don’t. Recognize that your team has priorities and commitments that are impacted if you expect an immediate response on everything.

Article Continues Below

Respect their ability to respond and get back to you in a timely manner. It doesn’t have to be this instant. And, don’t be the one who always remembers a top priority Friday at 5 pm. Just don’t.

5.  Give 2 people the exact same request just to speed things up

Yes, there are priorities that are constantly on your mind. But, giving the same assignment to 2-3 people won’t get it finished any faster.

In fact, you’ll create confusion, double work and a ticked off team. Lay out clear responsibilities, and the outcomes you want, and let them get moving.

6. Keep rescheduling your meetings with them

Your team then has to change their schedules every time you do this, so you don’t even see all of the ripple effects with customers and deadlines.

Of course, there are times when you have to move things around, but if you are a serial re-scheduler – it’s time to look in the mirror.

Maybe you need to meet less often, shorten the time or agree to talk when you need to talk. But, honor your commitments whatever they are.

Even good leaders and great managers have habits that can drive their teams crazy. We know you do a lot of things right, but doing away with these favorites will make your life easier and you a lot more popular.

Trust me on that.

This was originally published on PeopleResult’s Current blog.

Patti Johnson is the CEO of PeopleResults, a change and organizational development consulting firm she founded in 2004. She is the author of newly released "Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life." Patti and her team advise clients such as PepsiCo, Microsoft, 7-Eleven, Accenture, Frito-Lay and many others on creating positive change in their leaders and organizations. Previously a Senior Executive at Accenture. Patti is an instructor on change for SMU Executive Education and for the Bush Institute Women’s Initiative, as well as a keynote speaker on change and leadership.