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Understanding Your Manager / Supervisor

Many young engineers find it difficult to get adjusted to their work environment simply because they are unable to understand their manager / supervisor. This blog entry tries to provide some personality or behavioral traits of people whom you may encounter as your manager / supervisor.

Let me start with the “argumentative or “chatty” type of people. These people are in my opinion the best people to work with. They will argue and chat endlessly but they are the ones who are most likely to help you move forward in your career. They will listen to your point of view even if it is absurd or outrageous. At times when you are going overboard this type of manager / supervisor may even give you a severe reprimand. However, these people will accept your ideas if they are good for the group or organization even if it involves a lot of discussion which sometimes may meander to the mundane. This kind of a manager / supervisor may not be the most exciting to work with but believe me they mean no harm and will appreciate your contribution if you are able to resolve prickly problems and will give a sympathetic ear to the work place problems you are facing.

The “authoritarian” or “autocratic” manager / supervisor. This type of manager / supervisor has no patience to hear your woes or difficulties. He or she suffers from a massive superiority complex and will in no way tolerate any kind of dissent even if it is good for the organization. For him or her, the subordinate is a kind of idiot to be tolerated and dictated around. These type of people prefer only sycophants around them and an independent minded and smart engineer will feel himself or herself suffocated around such a manager / supervisor. If being a sycophant and tolerating bullying is not your cup of tea you should quickly look for a change of job.

The “repressed” and “vengeful” manager / supervisor. This type of manager / supervisor does not speak much and is filled with negativity. Whatever skill they have acquired is by rote that is by doing the same job 24X7 and for years together. These type of people abhor change and feel exposed when new work practices are adopted for the progress of the organization. When forced to express their opinion about any change in the work place they will only provide doomsday predictions. These people have the least regard for their colleagues and subordinates and do not trust anyone. Given the opportunity they will not hesitate to bring down a colleague or subordinate. In psychological parlance these people are suffering from a massive inferiority complex. If you are saddled with such a manager / supervisor you should look at the first opportunity to be rid of him or her, or a job change.

Again having worked for 26 years in many different organizations and under many managers / supervisors has given me an insight of the behavioral aspects of people whom I have encountered. While most of the times I was lucky to work under a very good manager / supervisor there have been those occasions where I had to encounter the “autocratic” and “repressed” type too.

Would love to hear the experiences of other members of the “Cheresources” community regarding the subject matter. Please note that I haven’t indulged in any name calling and would request the readers also to refrain from doing so while providing their comments.



Very nice to read this article. Its quite a living article. After reading it, I was not able to resist writing a comment.

During my 8 yrs experience I have felt that, even if our boss is autocratic or rude, and at the same time if he/she is knowledgeable and have strong administrative skills, its better to work under him/her (at early stages of work-exp). Working with a kind-hearted boss but weak in knowledge and administration (Even if he has designation)at early stages of experience is not good. At the start of carrier, our professional mind is blank. While doing job, we learn, how to work, from the person directly bossing us. Our boss shall have some strong value in the work place. This also place us at a good position in the company we work with.

That's all

Really good artical.

In my career For short time, I faced Autocratic & weak in
knowledge & best Admistraion skill/ Dynamic ( Complex Mixture ). But its very difficult to work such kind of people , Because they willnot listen to other expertise & Experince and not Diagnose problem & utlimately no problem will be solved.
there will be no use dynamic nature.

Ankur very good one:)

Aug 16 2011 04:38 AM
Good info about the managers// supervisor.

In my career, i faced argumentative or “chatty” type and “authoritarian” or “autocratic” manager / supervisor. And your right sir, when i work with
argumentative or “chatty” type mangers, I will get the answer for my problem, and he will add some intresting info, which will help/make me to search some more information about that topic from other sources, it really hepls me to increase my subject level.

And It will be very difficult to work with authoritarian” or “autocratic” manager / supervisor.

Very nice .. I'm really appreciating this enlightment for novices
Nov 10 2011 04:09 AM
Hello Mr. Ankur,
It is nice article. It has put a light on the different personalities around us making an impact on our behaviour as well.
Dec 02 2011 03:38 AM
Very Nice Ankur!
Very much practical description.

Hello Mr.Ankur,

This article is interesting but we cannot say all the time it works.Better is to have sound knowledge on the topic/problem


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