Mistakes Managers Make: Failure to show your human side

Show that you’re human

We often meet with managers who put themselves under enormous pressure to present a perfect view to their teams. They feel that need to deliver a faultless image, be unflappable and never make a mistake,

but this in itself can be a mistake. We need to show that we are human to show our teams that it's ok for them to be human too.


I was running a Management Development training session with APAC for a client this morning. We were having a great conversation around authenticity and the importance of human connection, showing your team that you are human and not perfect. At this precise point, my 8 year old daughter decided to practice her recorder. If I say she hasn't been playing long, you can imagine what that sounded like! I apologised to the delegates, and as they laughed I realised that it was a great example of what I was talking about.


I’m human and have a life outside of work.


From a management perspective, If I appear to my team to be perfect and that nothing ever goes wrong, why would they feel able to come and talk to me when things aren’t perfect for them, when things go wrong? I’m not talking about ‘letting it all hang out’ and giving them a blow by blow account of my day when things go badly, but acknowledging that things do something go wrong, and we can talk about it and find a way through together. When was the last time you showed your vulnerability and human side to your team?


If you do one thing: Make sure your team know that things aren’t always perfect for you and connect with them on a human level. You’ll find they’re much more likely to confide in you and share when they need help, as well as building a genuine, caring relationship with your team members.

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