After a few years on the job, many competent radiologic technologists are offered a management position. Although this offer of advancement, higher status, increased salary and (possibly) the respect of colleagues and employees may be flattering, the offer should be considered carefully. Management is not for everyone.
Some may think that management skills can be developed on the job, but the ability to use these skills comfortably cannot necessarily be obtained through practice, reading or even with extensive education. Management involves skill with both resources and personnel. Managing resources requires qualities such as organization and time management. In some resource-management positions, a manager may be a department of one. However, a manager must not only manipulate things but also successfully confront employees, carry out disciplinary action and terminate people.
Managing people requires a different set of skills and abilities and may cause high levels of stress for the manager who is not comfortable in interpersonal confrontation or who lacks the necessary people skills to handle delicate interpersonal situations. Successful managers have a variety of temperaments. Some are aggressive and some are soft spoken. Nevertheless, some skills necessary for handling personnel successfully are inherent and cannot be learned. To comfortably and successfully lead, managers need charisma. Not everyone is cut out to be a manager.
Some managers accept management positions because they seem to be the best person available for the job at the time and not because it is a wise decision based on personal skills and needs. Although there is a critical need for expert managers, radiologic technologists should consider Carefully whether management is the best choice for them in terms of long-term happiness and job satisfaction.
The Conflicts Of Modern Managers
Along with a management position comes pressure not only from above but resentment from below. The manager is often the person in the middle, responsible for carrying out the directives of the administration and subsequently the target for hostility when those directives are difficult and require hardship and adjustment by the subordinates. The manager mediates the hard demands of cost-efficiency with the soft demands of employees. For example, it is the manager who must decide who works on holidays when many employees would like to be home with their families. Although managers sometimes reap the rewards of a problem solved effectively, in many managerial positions conflicts abound.
Galvanizing consensus is often time consuming. In today's health care arena, managers must be less authoritarian and work with employees to gain support and commitment. Management by "walking around" is more difficult than the...