• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

What About You?

Should you pursue a management role? If you are already in a supervisory role, should you strike out for something in middle or upper management? The decision, of course, deserves careful consideration. Here are some thoughts you might wish to ponder.

  • Accept the edge you already possess, but admit you have much to learn.

    Many capable supervisors study human relations after they get their jobs. Many also admit they started out with a handicap because they did not have a strong enough human-relations background. Keep in mind that human relations is not the only thing a supervisor must know. There are many special supervisory skills that must be learned. Learning how to delegate, to conduct formal appraisals, to set priorities, to make decisions, and to manage one’s time are critical supervisory skills. [*] If you wish to succeed in a management role, it will be necessary for you to become competent in these areas. You may wish to study these skills in anticipation of your first supervisory role.

    [*] Also available from this publisher is Chapman/Goodwin, Supervisor’s Survival Kit, 9th ed., 2001, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458.

  • Management training is increasingly demanding.

    Even if you prepare for and become an excellent supervisor, it is only a start. The more you may aspire to upper-management roles, the more training you should receive. The master of business administration (MBA) graduate degree has become the standard goal of many. Earning a MBA means taking demanding courses in statistics, computer science, information technology, management theory, finance, and other areas. If you decide to take this route to the top, keep in mind that in most cases you can earn a MBA while working full time.

  • If you are intrigued with human relations, it is probably a sign that you will also like management.

    Although there are many facets to a management job, most involve considerable interaction with people. A management job involves counseling, leadership development, and building a competent staff. Some corporate presidents devote over 80 percent of their time to people problems. It is true that an executive manages resources and capital, but the first priority is working with people. The need to work with people will not change.

  • The discipline factor may not be for you.

    Those who are not in supervisory roles have the luxury of building rewarding relationships without having to assume the responsibility of correcting the behavior of others. Human relations at the worker level does not involve discipline. Some individuals who are outstanding at human relations are so sensitive to the needs of others and so compassionate in their association with others that they cannot correct or discipline those who get out of line. These people are uncomfortable in most leadership roles. They should, therefore, remain workers and make their contribution at that level. Not only will they be unhappy with the constant responsibility to discipline, they probably will not do it well.

  • Could you make hard decisions?

    Supervisors must make many decisions each day. The further up the executive ladder a supervisor goes, the more critical the decisions become. Most decisions are people decisions and, frequently, people decisions are very difficult ones to make. And even those that are primarily productivity or financial decisions affect people.

    The fact that you are good at human relations does not necessarily mean that you will be good at decision making. Indeed, the opposite may be true. For example, a manager may have to make a decision to give a layoff notice to a loyal and competent employee—perhaps even one with whom the manager has an outstanding relationship. There is some indication that the better you are at human relations, the more traumatic such a decision can be. No doubt, you will want to weigh the decision-making factor carefully before deciding to become a supervisor or manager.

  • Management people are more vulnerable.

    If you are a highly sensitive person (one reason why you may be good at building positive relationships with others), you may find it difficult to accept the criticism that goes along with a management role. Few, if any, managers are without detractors. In fact, whether or not a leader remains a leader, often depends upon keeping detractors at a minimum or spotting them soon enough to bring them into the fold.

    Do not misunderstand. Your human-relations skills will help you to build good relationships with employees and thus minimize the possibility of negative reactions. You may never have someone under your supervision who becomes so disenchanted that she (or he) sets out to get you. But the possibility exists. Despite your own abilities, the role itself makes you more vulnerable. Knowing that a supervisor or manager is more vulnerable to negative human-relations problems is in no way intended to keep you from wanting to become a supervisor; it simply means that there are disadvantages you should consider in advance.

  • Your personal attitude is more important in a management role—not less!

    As a supervisor, maintaining your own positive attitude—staying out of attitudinal ruts—is critical. A negative attitude in front of employees is a luxury a person in management cannot afford.

    Successful supervisors and leaders at all levels have the ability to create a positive force that pulls employees into a circle of involvement and activity. Once this force gets started, it seems to generate confidence among all team members and leads to constructive action and higher productivity.

    How do you create a positive force?

    Like a pebble dropped into a quiet pool, the power of your positive attitude gets things started. Thus, as a leader, your positive attitude is the source of your power. Your positive attitude communicates to those being led that they are headed in a direction that will eventually provide benefits. There are exciting goals within reach. Something better lies over the horizon. A positive attitude in a supervisor/leader builds positive expectations in the minds of workers, whereas a negative attitude destroys them.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint