The Spectrum of Supervision

There is a broad range on the spectrum of supervision. At one extreme is the hands-off manager, a person who makes an assignment no matter how vague.

At the other extreme is the micro-manager, someone who needs to control every aspect of an assignment.

Where do you fall on this spectrum?

The degree of supervision is not based on title or position. It’s based on the experience and known results of the person in question. Some need a lot of guidance, others prefer that you back off.

Trust plays a big part in this. If you don’t trust your employees, your distrust will loom in the background and will taint the outcome.

Experienced people will become frustrated and inexperienced people will not have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Similarly, if you have a laissez-faire style, you will be a hit with self-starting, experienced employees. But you may do a disservice to less experienced people who are reluctant to ask questions.

Think about where your supervisory style falls on the spectrum. Do you stay in the background? Is this appropriate for the people reporting to you?

Or do you hover? And is this appropriate?

Supervision isn’t one size fits all. Adapt your style to the people you manage, and you’re likely to find the best balance. And when you adapt, you’ll find yourself at the appropriate place on the spectrum, and not at either extreme.

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