My management style tends to vary with work situations. Depending on the task at hand, I am usually either an Autocratic leader or Directive Democrat. Situations that require close supervision of assigned tasks for quality management demand of me to make almost all decisions on my own – practicing the Autocratic style. These work situations may include urgent projects assigned my department. But, job assignments undertaken by my subordinates on a regular or daily basis allow me flexibility in my management style.
I tend to make decisions by consultation in such situations, although I make sure I watch my subordinates’ work closely even when I am practicing the Directive Democrat style. Can you describe your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and supervisor? I have been in the habit of perusing management research for many years. But, I have found that it is not always possible to practice what I have learned unless I take the time to make a plan and actually start practicing what I have intended to incorporate into my management style after perusing a particular piece of research.
Thus, I believe I still have to enhance my self-awareness. Lacking self-awareness is certainly a weakness I understand as a challenge. Among my strengths is my high emotional intelligence which gives me the ability to effectively interact with all people in the workplace. I am skilled in information management, and this is a significant strength especially in the workplace of the twenty-first century. Moreover, I am a highly dependable person on the job. This earns me respect at Korean Air. Can you describe the work environment or culture and its management style in which you have experienced the most success?
Yes, it was an organizational culture focused on creativity and innovation. The management style that worked best was certainly participative. It was an open style, allowing me to interact with all subordinates as near equals in order to make the best use of their creative ideas and encourage them to innovate. What factors are crucial within an organization and must be present for you to work most effectively? I believe in Abraham Maslow’s need theory of motivation. I desire for all my subordinates to feel satisfied about the work they do in this environment. They should be motivated enough to complete their tasks with excellence.
For this, the organization should provide them with everything to support them in increasing their efficiency and productivity. Knowledge management is a valuable concept. I would like all my subordinates to have access to the information they need at any given time. IT tools should be used for this purpose. If my subordinates are in the position to achieve their highest potential on the job, I am satisfied enough to work most effectively. As a manager or supervisor, one of your jobs is to provide direction and leadership for a work unit. Describe how you have accomplished this in the past.
I have trained my subordinates on the job to work as a team. When a new assignment arrives – something that we have never done before – we plan what we are about to do by organizing brainstorming sessions to arrive at the essentials. I have the last say in these sessions. Nevertheless, once we have planned what we are about to do as a team, I prioritize tasks according to their deadlines and availability of resources. Once this is done, I assign tasks to team members, informing them about performance expectations at the same time. I check the work of each team member once it is completed.
If the project is completed by two or more team members, I do not only set higher performance expectations but may also require quality improvement at the end of the process. Tell me about a time when you reorganized a department or significantly changed employee work assignments. How did you approach the task? How did the affected employees respond to your actions? I will never forget the brilliant experience of introducing the Internet to my department for the first time. We called in experts to explain Internet technology to them before teaching it to all of them both collectively and individually.
Right before that conference I had addressed my subordinates about the issue of organizational change. I had informed them that the Internet brings positive change to their jobs and the organization as a whole. Furthermore, I had assured them that experts would stay around to go on training them in the use of the Internet. In fact, we had hired experts to train my subordinates for two consecutive months. They stayed in our department throughout office hours. Everybody enjoyed the process of learning. None of my subordinates expressed disapproval.
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