Magazine article Supervisory Management

Reflections of Your Management Style

Magazine article Supervisory Management

Reflections of Your Management Style

Article excerpt

Reflections of Your Management Style

As a supervisor, you can influence the climate or atmosphere in which your employees work. To a large extent, the climate of the workplace is determined by your leadership style and by your assumptions about your people and why they work.

Climate can be either autocratic (thunderstorms), democratic (sunshine), or permissive (cloudy). The autocratic climate starts with a supervisor who says in no uncertain terms, "My way or the highway." In a permissive climate, the supervisor is passive--there is a lot of freedom but almost no control. "Wake me when it's over" is the philosophy of the permissive supervisor. A democratic climate takes into account everyone's abilities using a synergistic approach.

These are extremely broad classifications, of course, and there are plenty of variations. But you should keep in mind three points about climates:

1. You create the working climate>

2. The best climate is the one that enables the highest level of productivity> and

3. Climates will change according to the needs of the people within that environment.

Developing climate

by example

How you behave, more than what you say, influences those who work for you. You're a role model, and your people will mimic much of what they see, hear, and sense.

In this role, you must consistently strive to set the best example possible. This may not be easy, but it's one of the responsibilities of being a leader.

How do you handle emergencies? This probably shows your true character more than anything else. If you lose your cool in stressful situations, those around you will lose their confidence in you. If the emergency is caused by human error, your reaction here will be crucial. Do you concentrate on solving the problem, or do you chew out the employee who made the mistake?

How do you handle outside pressures? Occasionally, every supervisor is on the receiving end of demands made by people in higher positions. Do you pass the pressure on to your staff by yelling and screaming, or do you absorb much of the impact without passing it on? (This does not mean that you should be a martyr and assume all the pressures of the workplace on your shoulders--it's merely a reminder to keep things in perspective. …

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