I work with a highly educated mostly black staff. However the education that most of my supervisors have received has not prepared them to deal with the complexities of managing a diverse work staff.
1. Never lose sight of how you are viewed by your company or your boss (you are black).
2. Do not let loyalty or guilt about your race dictate how you discipline a black staff member. It is the responsibility of all black people who work under the management of other black people not to put themselves in a situation where they have to be disciplined.
3. Meet individually with all of your staff, when you meet with your black employees advise them that you will be fair and help them in any way that they need, Advised them that the best way to help you is by doing their job with integrity and professionalism. Their performance will reflect on you and yours will reflect on their future promotion.
4. You are not your white counterpart you cannot just talk down to your staff and get away with it. I have seen what I call the black supervisor killer (white women). Do not think that for one second you can get away with disciplining a white woman to aggressively, you need to be careful, very careful.
5. Never overtly show favoritism to other black employees. I know that white managers have shown favoritism to other white employees right in your face. However you are not white so you will have to hide your support for any black staff.
6. Know your staff. If you suspect that one of your white staff is a racist do not let them know that you are aware of how they feel. This is a very dangerous time you must prove without a doubt that this person is a racist. It doesn’t matter if they have made racial statements it doesn’t matter if they have a Confederate flag hanging off a pickup truck. It would be best if you had white staff support and collaborate with you on this matter.
7. Never talk about your politics especially if you support President Barack Obama.
8. Never talk about religion especially if you are not a Christian.
9. Black male supervised never talk about your sexual conquests, the black male has always throughout American history been perceived as a sexual threat.
10. If you are ever asked about OJ (he did).
11. Smile especially black women you do not want to be labeled angry black woman.
12. Know your job, no your staff jobs, no your boss job, everything and anything about your job you should know.