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Posted by markdohle , 09 July 2006 · 82 views


I suppose, that if awards could be given out on being the ‘worst’ of anything, I guess the one I would get, is on how I supervise.  I am really bad at it, awful, something that I find extremely hard to do with any kind of consistency.  

I hate to use the old saying “there are two kinds of people”, yet in this case there may actually be a great deal of truth to it.   For instance, some people micro-manage, they have to keep an eye everything.  Looking over the shoulders of those who work under them, always thinking, or perhaps if not actually thinking it, giving the impression that they are the only ones who can do things right.  The fruit of such an attitude is that self-reliance is lost, and I guess in the long run productivity suffers, since no one is trusted enough, to either work on their own, or even to think things thru properly.  

In the past I would get frustrated with this approach, and would often fight to be looked upon as someone who can work well on my own, and did not need to be constantly monitored.  Now that I am older I don’t think I could work again under those kinds of conditions, I would simply work somewhere else.  I did not have any understanding how difficult it is to change one’s managerial approach to things, it being so deeply ingrained in the personality.  Now I am beginning to understand.

I suppose finding balance in any area of life is very difficult and perhaps even impossible at times, since some people have certain strengths, which if not held in check, can actually lead to chaos and dysfunction.

As a manager I tend to go the opposite direction, I delegate a lot, I give someone a job and then trust that they can do it, or will do it, and if a mistake is made owe up to it.  That way they can learn, and do better the next time.  I am finding that this does not always work, and this type of managing can also lead to a great deal of dysfunction, and chaos, if not held in check.  I hate supervision, not only for myself, but also doing it to others.  When I do supervise it is spotty at best; it is almost impossible for me to be consistent in this matter, and in the end, it is probably unfair to those who work under me, since I may put too much responsibility on them.  

I am also not very good at teaching, or showing others how to do any one specific task.  Perhaps I could get another ‘worst’ award; that of being a teacher.  My mind goes too fast, and I jump around when trying to explain something, to someone else, making it hard for others to connect the dots so to speak.  So I am beginning to understand why micro mangers can’t just stop managing in their particular style, it is something deeply ingrained in the psyche.   Not that I am not trying to change, but it is very difficult.  I am getting a better at detail work, but that is still spotty, and while I am doing better than in the past,  I may be still well below average in ability for someone who is good at it.  I am not very impatient with detail, and while my job has a lot of detail to it, I find it very tiring doing it day after day, and supervising is one of those details.

Perhaps I have been in this too long, and it is time for a change, perhaps I am beginning to feel burnout, or it has really been creeping up for a long time.  I just miss doing patient care work that is what I am best at, not office or administration.  I will continue to try, but it is humbling to see my limitations, but it is best to owe up to them.

We will soon be getting a new RN for this site, and I am beginning to tell those who work under me, that when she gets here things will change.  She is a strong supervisor, unlike me, and that I want them to adapt to her style of managing, which I am sure will be better than mine.  I interviewed her, and during the interview led her to understand what my weak points are, and wanted to know if she was strong on what I lacked; she assured me that she could do well with detailed work, and also do supervision on a consistent basis.   Her resume looks good, and she was praised by all of her past employees, so I am looking forward to having her come on board.

Limitations are a part of life, and the older I get the more I have to accept what mine are, and not pretend that they do not exist.  The last nurse we had here was excellent, and she had all the gifts that I lacked, so we worked well together.  She also did not need me to supervise her, she did everything well, and the few times she did make a mistake she admitted it immediately, which bolstered my confidence in her.  Hopefully the new nurse will also be a good fit, I think she will be.