There are five professional sports leagues in the United States: The National Football League, The Major League Baseball, The National Basketball Association, The National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer. Within these leagues are hundreds of teams, each with a sports management professional. If you are lucky enough to find yourself hired by a management team, it’s important that you avoid these costly mistakes during your rookie year:
1.Failure to Communicate
Communication includes both active listening and effective speaking. Studies have shown that people absorb only about a quarter of what they are told. Listening is a skill that must be developed. To practice active listening, try to rephrase what someone has told you to see if you’ve heard them correctly. The more often you practice, the faster you’ll learn how to listen.
When it comes to talking, there are people who can get to the point quickly and those that use 100 words when 10 would suffice. Avoid using filler words when you speak and always say what you mean. A good way to practice effective speaking is to count to three before you talk. This will help you formulate your ideas and avoid blurting out words or phrases that can come back to bite you later.
2.Behaving Like a Know-It-All
Sure, you just graduated college and you’re full of ideas, but don’t be a know-it-all. No matter what you think, you don’t have the ability to solve problems on your own. It’s important to understand that you don’t have all of the answers. Ask others on your team what they think and take opinions seriously. Keep your mouth shut and listen to those around you who have more experience; you just might learn something.
You don’t have to be bursting with happiness every day, all day, but you do have to have more good days than bad. If you walk through your day focused on the downside of every situation, you’ll soon ruin the morale in the department. A ruined morale leads to the drop in productivity from every employee. Keep in mind that your bad mood rubs off on everyone you come into contact with. Here’s something to practice: Find a reason to compliment an employee every day. Even if it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to you, practicing the skill will turn it into second nature.
You’ve heard the phrase “he threw me under the bus.” Don’t be that person. Great managers accept responsibility for failures and mistakes as quickly as they accept responsibility for successes. If an employee makes a mistake, ask yourself how you could have helped that employee do a better job. Perhaps your employee wasn’t given the right information. Maybe the employee was sick and you piled the work on anyway. Ultimately, it is up to you to take responsibility for yourself and for your team; it’s part of being a manager.
Nothing stays the same forever. It’s as true in the workplace as it is in life. What works today may not work tomorrow, and you need to be flexible enough to roll with the punches. Not only should you be flexible, but you should keep yourself informed about upcoming technology and the latest best-business practices. The more that you are willing to bend and grow, the more your team will be willing to do the same.
Being a great manager isn’t as easy as being a poor one. Like any job, you’ll get better as you gain experience. Approach every success and failure as a learning opportunity. Do your best to avoid the mistakes above and you’ll become one of the most important cogs in the wheel.
Author Brett Harris is a huge sports fanatic. If sports is an area you are interested in as a career but not as a player, check out obtaining a sports management degree online.