The Question

What are some important qualities of a good supervisor (boss)? Use specific details and examples to explain why these qualities are important.

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The Sample Essay

(the question used here came from the Official Guide to the TOEFL)

          People today spend an enormous amount of time at their workplace, and how much they enjoy that time depends largely on the attitude and attributes of their supervisor.  I am of the opinion that there are two main characteristics of a good boss, which are his experience and his professionalism.  I will explore these two factors in the following essay.

          First of all, the amount of experience that our boss has is very important, because we are more likely to learn from a supervisor who is very experienced in their field.  Young people who are just starting out in their careers absorb new information like sponges, but even older workers can learn from those who have been around for a long time.  My own experience is a compelling example of this.  When I began teaching ten years ago, my supervisor, Simon, had been working in education for more than ten years.  I was just out of college and knew very little about creating effective lesson plans, engaging students or even how to complete my paperwork.  Simon took the time to show me what he had learned over previous decade, and therefore I was soon able to keep up with my officemates.  In contrast, when I moved to a new school earlier this year, my supervisor actually had less experience teaching than I did.  Moreover, when I struggled with certain aspects of my job, he had very little to suggest that I did not already know.  As a result, my professional development stagnated.

          Secondly, I feel that the professionalism  is important for a boss, as it is essential to the maintenance of a good office environment.  My sister once told me that her first job following her graduation was difficult because of how toxic the office was.  Workers were prone to gossiping, shirking their duties and arriving late each day.  This was seen as acceptable because most of the supervisors in the firm behaved in the exact same way.  My sister was miserable, though, because she prides herself on her diligence and her ability to complete her tasks with care and enthusiasm.  This situation is a stark contrast to my experience with Simon, who I mentioned above.  He arrived early to the office each day, and never engaged in idle gossip about his officemates.  The people he supervised tried to do the same things.

          In conclusion, I believe that experience and professionalism are the hallmarks of a good supervisor.  This is because we can learn a lot from a knowledgeable boss, and because employees will strive to emulate a supervisor who acts with professionalism and dignity.