It is important to be aware of others’ perceptions in an organization. Sometimes a manager’s attitude can affect an entire department and its functions. Have you ever had to work for a person, such as a teacher, an instructor, a coach, or a supervisor, whose attitude caused everyone to be miserable? If no, you can choose a leader with whom you did not work directly but witnessed taking such an attitude with another subordinate. If you have never experienced this type of person, you may think of a television or a film character.
Answer the following questions based on your understanding of different perceptions and obstacles at a workplace:
- What, according to you, did that person do to create negative situations? Was the individual bossy, rude, or interfering, or did the person make disparaging remarks or speak negatively about the people who were not present?
- What was your or the subordinate’s attitude toward the person in that particular situation and in general?
- Based on your observations of that person, as you reflect on the work situation, was your or the subordinate’s attitude the right one? Why or why not? Would you show a different attitude given a second chance or if you were in the same situation? Why?
- How does a negative management attitude affect trust among the employees? When a manager is not trustworthy, does this information spread to other departments, who may also form a negative opinion of the manager?
- Suggest at least two ways you would solve the problems if you were the manager. Why would you adopt such measures?
Now, reflect on a situation where you experienced a positive leader who valued the team, shared his or her visions, and encouraged the team to develop and answer the following questions on the basis of your understanding:
- How do you describe your feelings and attitude when working for a leader who is positive and supportive versus a negative manager? How does a positive supportive leader affect trust among team members?
- How influential are perceptions of certain employees either in your team or in other departments? Does your perception of a manager or a team member carry weight, even though there may not be a personal encounter with the person and the perception is based on someone else’s comments?