Management Styles....a new thread?
Weller at mbcg.uchc.edu
Tue Jan 23 21:33:05 EST 1996
In article <4ds4gg$er at post.its.mcw.edu>, "Jennifer L. Potter"
<jras at post.its.mcw.edu> wrote:
> Question: What are the keys to people management in the lab? I have
> personally experienced a variety of managment styles, none of which I
> have found to be particularly successful when used on myself or others,
> or that I would feel comfortable emulating if/when I am in the boss'
> shoes. I worry that I would be too much of a "softie" when it comes to
> dealing with the people under me....or that I would swing too far the
> other way and be a B****. How to achieve balance? Does your management
> style get misinterpreted because you're a woman?
I have been running my own lab for 11 years now and have had many similar
questions about styles of management. I don't think there are any "keys
to people management in the lab". I am particularly sensitive to being
thought of as a B****, but I realize that I would be doing a disservice to
my students and fellows to not expect them to do their best. It is a fine
balance and one which I struggle with daily. Most of the time I try to be
a cheer leader dispensing encouragement and enthusiasm. I think each
mentor needs to develop his or her own style of running a lab and I must
say I am getting more comfortable with the role. At first I felt like a
student myself and it was very hard to feel that I was the "boss". My own
graduate advisor was a brilliant Nobel prize winner who (unintentionally I
think) was very intimidating to me. I became reluctant to voice my own
opinions or ideas and suffered several "crises in confidence" through my
graduate years. I gained confidence as a postdoctoral fellow and have
developed my own style of mentoring which does not closely match either of
my former mentors, yet I have learned from each certain aspects of styles
which work and styles which do not. I am very pleased with the way things
are going in my lab right now. I am particularly grateful to a group of
women faculty who meet regularly for tea (Thursdays at 3 in the
cafeteria). We trade stories, cry on each other's shoulders and give each
other encouragement. I try not to worry too much about my style being
misinterpreted. I have experienced some success and I am trying not to be
oppressed by nagging doubts and "crises in confidence". I am doing the
best that I can do right now; that's enough (most days). Good luck and
try not to worry. It sounds corny, but I think your heart is in the right
place and that you will have compassion for those that you mentor.
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