Coping with the Office
Your First Day at the Office | Coping with Office Copying | Problems with Office Paper | Office Food and Drink | Computers at the Office | Managers in the Office | Averting Telephone Problems in the Office | Email in the Office
It's tough being a manager, and requires a particular type of character. They're often people who will toe the company line regardless of whether they believe in it or not. Typically managers have got a bad reputation, but if you work with your manager then you'll find that your work environment may improve. Managers can be roughly divided into the following categories:
Coercive - This type of manager is straight to the point and often highly stressed. You will be given things to do and told to get on with it. Maybe not the nicest of sorts, but at least you know where you stand. Earplugs are often desirable, especially if you mess up. Most likely candidate for a heart attack.
Authoritative - This is the 'bigger picture' person. Many cups of coffee are required as the company's plans and motives are explained to you in detail. Staying awake is tough, but essential as you may by asked questions later.
Affiliative - This type of manager wants to be your friend. Don't be fooled, he's still your manager and you'll find he may try the guilt trip thing to get you to do work.
Democratic - This manager likes to give you a choice. You may think that you have some influence over your work, but you haven't. You will be listened to, and duly noted, but nothing will change.
Pacesetting - This type of manager is nasty. They will give you work to do, but if you don't complete it quickly, efficiently and without error they will take the work away and do it themselves. This is sort of okay for the short term but you will find that you get bored very quickly and the manager won't have a kind word for you at your appraisal.
Coaching - If you get stuck, then this manager will describe what needs to be done. They will be using lots of management tools to measure your progress. Nothing is ever a problem, it's just an opportunity for improvement. You may need to keep notes, especially of the catchphrases and buzz words that they come out with. This type of manager is best illustrated by the character Gus in the TV series Drop the Dead Donkey.
New World - This type of manager helps you to do the work you need to do: they are empowered to empower you, and are very rare indeed.
What sort of manager would you be?