They have to know and control everything. This is not to suggest
that you not keep your supervisor informed. Rather, this is the
leadership type that squelches creativity and initiative by too
They are so restrictive that it is difficult at times to do your
job. Some supervisors exercise control by monitoring the flow of
For example, if the supervisor knows something
about your relationship to your commander that you do not know,
then that information can be used by the person to exercise
control over you.
If you exercise initiative and creativity greater than what is
"allowed" (or desired) by the supervisor, you may invoke the
person's anger or rage.
What has just been described sounds bleak! However, in reality, there are
such people as have just been described. Thankfully, the disciplers among
us far outnumber the others described. The system has a way of weeding out
the negative leaders. And at the very least, there are many ways that you
can find to take care of yourself and to be cared for when caught under the
thumb of a negative leader.
Mentioning the unhealthy supervisors allows you to recognize them; but also
enables you to avoid having some of those symptoms in your own life and
ministry. One day you will be a supervisor of other chaplains. Remember
the title of this lesson is doing MINISTRY WITH OTHER CHAPLAINS.
Relationships are important. Remember that your style of relating, leading
and supervising can enhance or detract from the goal of providing ministry
to those of a variety of faiths.
Rank Structure and Teamwork/Collegiality.
Another reality you must face and work through for the sake of
teamwork/collegiality is the rank structure in which you work. Generally,
your supervisor will be a major. There are times when your supervisor may
be a captain or a lieutenant colonel.
If a captain, it is probably the
person's first attempt at supervision. This can manifest itself in several
Very competent and effective.
Motivated, but unsure due to lack of experience.
Laboring with control and power issues.
If a major or above, the supervisor may manifest any of the supervisor
"styles" which were discussed earlier.
A key to working with other
chaplains of higher rank usually lies within you. Somehow you have to work
through the power and authority issues and come to a healthy balance with
these issues for collegiality to work.