7 ways you make life harder for your team—and how to avoid them

As a leader, your goal should be to pave the way for your team to succeed, Gordon Tredgold writes for Inc.

Based on his experience as a leadership consultant and chief executive at Leadership Principals, Tredgold lays out seven ways managers accidentally make things harder for their teams—and what to do instead.

1: Asking for things that aren't necessary

To increase your team's efficiency and effectiveness, don't ask them to do unnecessary work. If you hold purposeless meetings or request reports that you won't actually use, you take away from their ability to do what needs to be done, Tredgold writes.

As a leader, you must support your team by removing the roadblocks they encounter, not building new ones, he notes.

2: Giving too many instructions

You don't have to be an expert on everything to lead your team to success. Instead, communicate the goals and let your team decide how to achieve them, he recommends.

If you micromanage, you can hurt their productivity and earn a poor reputation as a leader, Tredgold notes. You should periodically check on your team's progress, but give them the necessary space and freedom to thrive.

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3: Overlooking the little things

Good leaders ensure their teams have everything they need to achieve their goals. If employees don't have the skills, time, or tools, to be successful, it's the leader who is ultimately accountable, he argues.

4: Having zero tolerance for mistakes

Punishing every mistake can discourage your team from trying new things. Instead, recognize that mistakes are a normal part of the learning process and a key part of growth, Tredgold writes.

5: Failing to support work-life balance

Long-term success requires a healthy and happy team. To make your employees feel valued, discourage them from working excessive hours and tell them to go home when it's getting late.  

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6: Withholding praise

Recognizing your employees for a job well done is free, easy to do, and motivating for them to hear. Don't wait until your team delivers unbelievable results to praise them. Instead, recognize their efforts along the way to keep them engaged throughout the process, he suggests.

7: Taking all the credit

If you take sole credit for your team's hard work, you can damage the relationship, Tredgold warns. But if you give all of the credit to your team, they will appreciate and respect you more as a leader, he notes (Tredgold, Inc., 10/11). 

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