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Most managerial mistakes cut across gender lines.

Both men and women bosses get too caught up in daily details and could do a better job of delegating.

Both men and women bosses could do a better job with performance reviews . . . doing them more frequently . . with more candor . . . instilling hope . . . encouraging creativity, productivity, accuracy and teamwork.

And, there are 3 mistakes that women bosses make more frequently than men . . . so let's see what they are . . . so we can do things differently.

 

Mistake #1: Emotional Connection

Women bosses tend to mismanage emotional distances.  

We can be so determined to be taken seriously that we become tough and authoritarian . . . becoming an Ice Queen . . . keeping everyone at arm's length . . motivating by clear directives, performance incentive and  . . . fear . . .  people don't trust each other  . . . they don't feel safe.

Or we can do a 180 and be the Good Mother . . .  so overly nurturing . . . getting to know everyone personally . . . making them feel like family . . . knowing the personal details of eveyone's lives

As Ice Queens, we harness peoples hands and brains, but not their hearts  . . . so creativity, innovation and group harmony goes out the window.

As Good Mothers, we get too emotionally involved . . . the line between boss and friend gets blurred . . . and everything falls apart when we have to crack down because of poor performance . . . or when people taking advantage of our liberal workplace policies.

How do we treat employees right without creating a culture of entitlement?

Two companies model an approach worth emulating . . . Southwest and Netflix.

Southwest follows a people-first approach with its employees . . . everyone works incredibly hard so that they can share in the company’s success.

Southwest gets its employees to think and act like owners . . .  by sharing in the profits.

Netflix is considered one of the best places to work. They don't monitor people through vacation policies and annual reviews . . . they set clear expectations and give people the responsibility to police themselves.

People are evaluated according to their abilities and accomplishments . . . no micro-managing . . . lots of personal autonomy . . . so Netflix attracts and recruits people who are emotionally mature, self-sufficient and able to meet its high standards.

 

Mistake #2: Fear of Firing

It's not a secret . . . hiring mistakes must be dealt with quickly.

It’s not easy to find the right people . . .  anyone can look great on paper and interview well . . . and be a disaster.

Effective bosses let people go. They might give someone 3 months to improve . . . and put systems in place to help them . . . but they will not hang on when it's just not working.

Women tend to wait longer . . . avoid confrontation . . . give people more chances than they deserve.

We tend to minimize hiring mistakes instead of eliminating them . . and this puts pressure on everyone else.

Men fall into this trap, but not as much as we do.

We are more reluctant to admit that we've messed up . . . even though hiring the right person is a 60-40 proposition, at best . . . because we are worried about being seen as less trustworthy.

Few hiring mistakes are a secret. Our reputation improves when we have the insight and courage to recognize and rectify our mistakes.

 

Mistake #3: Focusing on Personal Success

Once we become the boss our focus must change . . .our personal performance is only as good as the performance of our team.

This concept is hard for men and women bosses alike.   Most people have trouble making the transition from my success to our success . . . but it seems to be harder for women.

Maybe we face more obstacles and have a longer journey to leadership.  Maybe even after we are promoted, we feel that they have to keep fighting to hold on to our success.

Why doesn't make things better . . . we've got to find ways to build trust one step at a time . . to inspire and motivate . . . to effectively engage . . . to create a culture that's supportive and safe . . . that empowers people to do and be their best . . . without becoming the Ice Queen or Good Mother.

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