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Assertiveness Feedback

I am in a supervisory position and my manager just reviewed me and said I am too nice to the employees I supervise. He said I should come down harder on them and be tougher. I donít think that is a very good way to manage. Is there a problem with being a nice supervisor?

There is no problem in being a nice supervisor some of the time, but there can be situations where things do not turn out so nicely if you are too nice. When your employees are performing well, meeting the objectives, and working effectively with each other and you, there is no problem in being a nice supervisor.

However, if problems develop, such as slippages in productivity, interpersonal conflicts, decreases in quality, or deadlines being missed, you may need to take a more direct or assertive approach. This does not mean that you should act like a bully or a screamer, but it does mean that your actions should be more firm, direct, and decisive. For you and some of your employees, this might not be perceived as being so nice, but it is a necessary part of effective supervision.

When supervisors are described as being too nice, it often means they are overly concerned with being well-liked and avoiding conflict. Supervisors who act this way are ultimately perceived as weak by their employees as well as by their own managers.

This would be a nice time to make an honest assessment of your supervisory style and see if it might need a little more assertiveness.

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