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Chapter 5. Managing Relationships with Y... > Video Case: Case 3: Relationships: G...

Video Case: Case 3: Relationships: Gaining Power and Motivating

Whether you are the boss or subordinate, the ability to effectively manage the boss-subordinate relationship is a management skill that is critical to your productivity, career success, and well-being. Not surprisingly, bosses and subordinates often tend to see the world differently. Bosses, for example, tend to underestimate the power they have to affect their employees' everyday work lives. They are often unaware that a simple request such as “see me at the office in 5 minutes” can raise a subordinate's anxiety level to unreasonable levels. Subordinates, on the other hand, tend to assume that their boss has all the power in the relationship, when in fact, subordinates have quite a bit of power in the relationship as well. The most effective boss-subordinate relationships are built on mutual support and goodwill.

To make the best of a boss-subordinate relationship, effective managers adapt their behavior to the needs of the employee and the situation. Effective managers know when to use a direct, task-focused, hands-on style; when to use a supportive, coaching style; and when to stay out of the subordinate's way altogether. They also know that employees have four basic needs: meaning, belonging, competence, and control. They help employees meet these needs by providing a clear and engaging mission, promoting teamwork, empowering employees to make the most of their abilities, and providing consistent policies and procedures that give employees a sense of control, even during times of radical change. Effective managers also know that one of the most important roles that they have is to be mentors to their employees.


  

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