How Do You Like to Be Managed?

by Marcianne Kuethen
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When Bruce started his new job, Alison gave him several weeks of her time and attention to train him. In her estimation, he was ready to be on his own after a month, and Alison was ready to return her focus to her own work. A problem emerged, however, as Bruce felt he needed more daily guidance than Alison was able or willing to give. While neither Bruce nor Alison were right or wrong, it eventually became clear that Bruce’s more dependent style was not a match for Alison’s hands-off style of management.

When most people look for a job, their main focus is often on what questions they will be asked during an interview. Amtec has lots of helpful resources to offer on everything from how to prepare for your telephone or in-person interview to negotiating salary to how to start your job off right. But a commonly overlooked factor is to explore the question, How do you like to be managed? When you start a new job, you’ll want to get up to speed and be productive as soon as possible. Yet nothing can derail your success faster than being a poor fit with your new boss’s style of management.

Lou Adler, author of The Essential Guide to Hiring, suggests one way to look at understanding how to match your style as an employee with the style and personality of your potential manager. Below you’ll see that he has defined six types of employees and six types of managers:

diagram of six management/subordinate styles

Do you find where you fit in the employee column? Being self-aware enough to know the degree of direction you typically need or want from your supervisor can help you ask the right questions in your next interview. This will help you get to know the company, the department, the leaders and people who work there, and the specifics of the open position. Having a more complete picture will help you understand whether you can give your best work performance under the direction of the existing manager.

Besides managerial style, here are three other considerations you’ll want to be aware of when vetting a new employer (click here to read the whole post):

  1. Your level of self-awareness–How well do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Understanding these will help you analyze whether you’re up to fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.
  2. Fit with the company culture–Is your personality a good match for the personality of the company? Underperformance of employees is often caused by a mismatch, so be sure to explore this in your interview.
  3. Expectations for promotion–Remember that you are new to this company, no matter what your previous credentials. Are you humble enough to start out at the bottom, prove yourself, and work your way up?

How do you like to be managed? Every manager has a style, and you must become a like a detective to grasp it. As a candidate, understanding the degree of involvement you need from your manager is key to your interviewing success–and ultimately your ability to succeed in your new job.

Candidates, do we have the most current version of your resume? If not, click here to post it, and visit our job board for professional and technical jobs while you’re at it! You or a friend might be a good fit for one of our open positions. Also, join our Talent Network to receive updates and alerts with new job opportunities that match your interests.

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