No manager is perfect, but some are definitely better than others. As I gain more experience in the world of jobs and job interviews, I’ve come to learn how important it is to have a manager that both respects and listens to you. Feeling part of a team truly does improve your work ethic and overall quality of life. Afterall, the typical full-time employee spends 40-50 hours of their week at work. Those hours can feel much longer if your work environment is insufferable, which is why I would very likely choose to have a job with an exemplary manager versus one with a higher pay cheque.
To add a hint of humour to this topic, I’ve divided my prior bosses into three chip flavours (management styles), some more savoury than others :
Sweet Chili: Palatable, but it also burns your tongue
Don’t worry, I’ll help you out right away. You can count on me… Can you also work an extra shift on Saturday? Again?
- Bosses in this category had a management style that was attentive, kind, and very disorganized. These bosses made the team feel welcome. They went out of their way to listen and offer learning experiences when team members encountered conflict. Unfortunately, those learning experiences weren’t always offered with the option of refusal. Last minute changes were frequent and I’d often find myself doing chores that really didn’t feel like they were appropriate as an employee (I was once requested to return library books). Despite the fact that this management style involved watching over my coworkers and I like a hawk, we knew that when we needed help it would be given wholeheartedly.
Ranch: Bland, but a common classic enjoyed by many
Hi, how are you? … Good, thanks. ……. Bye, have a great evening!
Bosses in this category were kind enough, but I don’t actually remember much else about them. I don’t recall them being particularly bad or good. Under their supervision, my teammates and I got into work, put in our hours, and went home with few qualms or crowning moments. These bosses often had a lot of big ideas that ultimately weren’t executed in the most efficient manner (or at all).
Unfortunately, bosses with this management style were lacking in leadership skills. With one such boss, there was an incident where half my coworkers got into a scuffle amongst themselves which ultimately led to one of them quitting. My boss didn’t do anything to remedy the situation. I don’t know if they were ever informed of the situation or if their solution was simply ineffective. Other than that, it was an uneventful but satisfying work term.
Vinegar: Sour and pungent, but it exists
[4:55pm] Hey! Could you rewrite this overview package? I was meaning to ask you to do it after we that meeting I had with management last week. I need it by 9am tomorrow. Just, like, update it with more information. … What information? You know, data, etc.
This flavour represents a style of management that stifles the morale and creativity of their employees. Working with bosses exhibiting this management style is challenging, but the time I spent under their supervision granted me the greatest growth. These bosses don’t know how to delegate tasks to employees. I can only assume this was out of mistrust of their employees’ capabilities or a need to have things done their way, no matter how ineffective or inefficient that method may have been. They managed their employees with selfishness, narrow-mindedness and inefficacy. My ex-bosses weren’t bad people by any means, but they did lack the leadership and project management skills that should’ve been prerequisites for their role.
These were my impressions of some of my previous bosses. If I were to rewrite this in flavours of employees/coworkers, which flavours would you pick?