Too nice to be a supervisor? - page 2

Hi everyone, I got feedback for a supervisor position I applied for-my qualifications are fine but the Human Resource interviewer believes I may be 'too nice of a person' and would be a 'push... Read More

  1. by   Moogie
    I've worked in facilities in which the administration and nursing leadership managed by intimidation and shouting and screaming were the preferred communication styles. I couldn't take it. Perhaps I am naive but I've always believed in expecting the best out of co-workers. I don't believe that one member of the team is necessarily more important than the others and I believe that those who deliver the most direct care should be as respected as those who are creating the care plans and leading the team. I believe that management by intimidation is a cop-out and used only by those who lack the skills to build a team through positive feedback and reinforcement.

    Unfortunately, that has at times left me in opposition with the powers that be. At one facility, I advocated for the night staff who were being bullied by days; the DON was poor at managing conflict and would often let the catfights rage on for fear of "offending" her day staff. At change of shift, many night CNAs would be in tears after being torn to shreds during rounds by the day people. The day CNAs accused the night CNAs of not doing enough work and, by the time most of the CNAs were ready to resign, they had indeed quit trying. There was no pleasing the day staff, no matter how much they did or how hard they tried. In six months, the facility lost five full-time night CNAs and the DON continued to blame those who left, saying they were "burned out" or "couldn't take the pressure". Now the facility is short on night staff. Wonder why!

    At another facility, I found out too late that one of the key members of the nursing management team was very aggressive and never wrong. This individual would micromanage staff and urge others to "watch everyone closely" while complaining that he/she was unable to complete his/her administrative work. I expect people to act like adults on the job and I don't feel it's necessary to watch every CNA perform every oral care or every peri care to ensure that he/she is doing the job. When I worked at that facility I answered lights and helped feed and toilet residents. Perhaps I was too laid-back for the management of that facility. At any rate, I was told by this manager that I was "too nice" and that my supervisory skills "sucked". Whatever.

    Maybe it's just me but I would rather not be in a supervisory role in a facility in which management by intimidation is condoned or even encouraged. (Actually, I don't want to be in a subordinate role in such a facility, either!) I'd rather be able to go home after my shift with a clear conscience that I have treated my co-workers in the way in which I would like to be treated myself. I truly believe that respect trickles down and if the powers that be do not respect the workers, morale will collapse and care will suffer.

    Just my
  2. by   Orca
    I truly believe that respect trickles down and if the powers that be do not respect the workers, morale will collapse and care will suffer.
    I have seen this happen more times than I can count, and in many different job settings. I have worked under leaders who had the "don't let the door hit you in the *ss when you leave" attitude about those who have difficulty adjusting to dictatorial leadership and insensitive treatment. People who lead like this often have rapidly-changing standards, and the combination of frequent ire from the supervisor and "what was right yesterday is wrong today" drives employees nuts. Dictatorial leaders tend to have poor people skills, so they implement their ideas by fear and intimidation than explaining how and why things need to be done. You seldom see these leaders solicit or accept ideas from those they supervise, because their ideas are never wrong and the only good ideas are their own. They are not good at justifying or implementing anything, so they lead by sheer force. These people don't understand why people keep resigning and why people don't respect them. I also find that many incompetent supervisors lead like this. Their decisions make no sense but they are bound and determined to implement them, so they fall back on their authority as justification.

    While I may have to respect a person's position in the chain of command, personal and professional respect must be earned. It cannot be demanded.
  3. by   Dixiecup
    Unless it's a life threatening situation I believe writing people up serves absolutely no purpose. Constructive counseling has always worked much better for me.
  4. by   justiceforjoy
    When they told you that, did you stick up for yourself, or did you just take what they said without saying anything? If you didn't stick up for yourself, you likely proved their point.

    There's a huge difference between being aggressive and being assertive. Leaders do need to be assertive. Otherwise, you'll start agreeing to nurses taking long lunches and not taking you seriously when you catch them and try to rectify the issue (just as one example).
  5. by   CapeCodMermaid
    Quote from Dixiecup
    Unless it's a life threatening situation I believe writing people up serves absolutely no purpose. Constructive counseling has always worked much better for me.
    Dixie-
    You are either very naive or have never worked for a company where the employees are union. We have a process we must follow before we can terminate someone...a verbal warning, a written warning, a final written, a suspension and finally termination. If all the steps aren't there, it is too easy for them to grieve the termination and get their jobs back.
  6. by   debRN0417
    Even if you verbally counsel someone, it is in your best interest to write that down and put it in a file. Progressive discipline is necessary. You must discipline and document. The employee has a better understanding of what they did wrong and the expectations. Also, like CapeCodMermaid said- it is too easy to get into that "you never told me that" he said- she said- and they file a greivance and get their job back and you are stuck with a problem again. Most folks will accept progressive discipline as a learning experience if presented in an appropriate manner. But some people will throw things at you....
  7. by   achot chavi
    Quote from Dixiecup
    Unless it's a life threatening situation I believe writing people up serves absolutely no purpose. Constructive counseling has always worked much better for me.
    If you dont keep a record you cant claim a history of this problem and prove all that you have done to deal with it. You then become part of the problem. If a counseling session doesn't help- and the problem persists you are just as guilty.

    You can give constructive counseling and then write up a record of that session for the personal file. One does not preclude the other in fact what would be the point of writing up without the follow up of a constructive counseling and vice versa?

    Risk Management also mandates written records of problems from the staff even if it wasn't a life threatening situation in order to track improvements or the opposite.

    Writing someone up isn't a punishment

    You can also write up positive outcomes and improvements.

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