3 Mistakes to Avoid When Taking Over a Team

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Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Taking over as the leader of a team is daunting. Your team members are used to how their previous leader liked to do things, and adjusting their habits can be a challenge. But it’s important to avoid three common mistakes that new leaders make when trying to ease the transition:

o Being a friend rather than a leader. Investing too much energy in befriending the team can confuse the power relationship. Most teams want clear, confident leadership.

o Expressing frustration with the quality of the team. What team members are good at is a reflection of what the previous leader expected of them. If your expectations are different, you need to help the team make that shift.

o Attempting to force trust too quickly. Until team members have had time to see how you handle uncomfortable topics too much candor will do more harm than good. Let trust build over time.

Adapted from “Pitfalls to Avoid When You Inherit a Team,” by Liane Davey.

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