10 Steps to better results in supervision.<br />What is supervision?<br />2. What does supervision require?<br /> <br />3. Balance motivation and direction while setting achievable standards and providing the resources required for delivery.<br /> <br />4. Play to your team’s strengths.<br /> <br />5. Continually train yourself, seek out training.<br /> <br />6. Empower and encourage well. You will have a team of self starters and an atmosphere of high performance.<br /> <br />7. Team members emulate a good leader.<br /> <br />8. Always read the feedback, only as feedback!<br /> <br />9. When you take a position, you shut down the possibility for something new.<br /> <br />10. Understand your own communication.<br />
What is Supervision?<br />Supervision is the art of building trust in business, politics, relationships and life.<br /> When we supervise, we are charged with ensuring that our direct reports complete their assigned tasks in a manner which is acceptable within the parameters of the identified outcomes. <br /> In order to achieve our intended results, we have to learn to trust that the person we deal with is qualified and capable of producing such results. <br /> Avoiding the pitfalls of micro-managing and letting them fulfill their role aids to build trust and produce a harmonious working relationship.<br />
Supervisors build Trust<br /><ul><li>Trust is the result of continuous attentiveness and activity.
Trust is dynamic. It is part of the vitality, not the inert foundation of relationships. It involves personal responsibility, commitment and change.
Trust is a social practice, not a set of beliefs. It is a "how to" not a "knowing that“. It is an aspect of culture and the product of cultivation, not just a manner of individual psychology or attitude.
Trust should not be confused with the poisonous practice of cordial hypocrisy, the defensive pretense of trust and agreement that hides fear and resentment and makes honest communication impossible.
Trust(ing), not trustworthiness, is the issue. The existential question of how to trust, not just who can be trusted. (Trust must not only be earned; it must be given)</li></li></ul><li>True leadership, whatever else it may be can be based on nothing less.<br /><ul><li>Trust is a matter of making and keeping commitments, and the problem of trust Is not loss of confidence but the failure to cultivate commitment making.
Trust involves sincerity, authenticity, integrity, virtue and honor (matters of ethics). It is not a "neutral" character trait, not just a cultural pattern, not just a matter of individual good "judgment". It is not a matter of unthinking habit (simple trust) but a matter of conscientious integrity, authentic trust.
The worst enemies of trust are cynicism, selfishness, and a naïve conception of life in which one expects more than one is willing to give.
Trust goes hand in hand with truth. Lying is always a breach of trust.
Authentic trust can never be taken for granted, but must be continuously cultivated through commitments and truthfulness.
True leadership, whatever else it may be can be based on nothing less.</li></li></ul><li>What does supervision require?<br /> Ability to trust and be trusted. <br /> Ownership by the supervisor.<br /> The only thing I can really change is myself, if I am to assume a leadership role then I must believe at a very fundamental level, "If it's to be, It's up to me" I cannot fall back on blame when the results are other than my intended result. Everyone must own their own stuff and never play the blame game.<br /> Ability to manage multiple priorities.<br /> The reason that you are a supervisor is that you have displayed the ability to not only manage your own tasks, but also, to some degree the tasks of others. Learn to prioritize and if necessary learn to delay the not so important tasks in order to get to a critical task now.<br /> Willingness to take risks.<br /> Where would we be without "The Wright Brothers“? until they let loose with Kitty Hawk, manned flight was impossible. Until JFK announced that "We would go to the moon in 10 years", it was impossible. What are you leaving undeclared? What can you claim to be possible even though those around you may believe it is not?<br />
…What does supervision require?<br />Consistent benchmarking of self and charges.<br /> You can never know how far you have come until you take a look back over your shoulder and take stock of the journey taken. However, don't let up! Are you where you intended to be at the time you intended to be there?<br /> <br />Tracking the data<br /> It is a lousy job, but someone has to do it! Learn to enjoy it, why shouldn't you? Take a class, learn how to track date, learn how the data tells you a story, become multi-lingual. Hearing what the data has to say is like knowing that X marks the spot.<br />Organizational Skills<br /> Read the “Minute Manager”. The more organized you become, the more time you find to do what is really important. If you are always under a mountain of paperwork or tasks, how can you expect any more from those around you that follow your example.<br />Ability to change<br />
Balance Motivation and Direction<br />Sometimes we have to decide whether it is motivation or determination we need. In this brave new world of motivational speakers and one hour workshops after which we return to our cubes excited for a day or two, just to return to the same ol' same ol'. <br /> Quite often, what we are missing as leaders is personal determination. What we model is what we get. We don't always feel inspired and motivated, but our commitment should produce determination from each of us. <br />
What would Ernest Shackleton Do?<br /><ul><li>Go-For Broke risks become more acceptable as options narrow. Sometimes the potential rewards at the end of a daring venture justify the risk of suffering a spectacular failure.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Seek inspiration in enduring wisdom that has comforted or motivated you or others in times of crisis. It will get you through the most physically and emotionally draining times and help you to keep perspective.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Congratulate yourself and others on a job well done. A pat on the back or a sincere handshake is an expression of personal thanks and gratitude that has never gone out of fashion.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Motivate your staff to be independent. If you have been a good leader, they will have the determination to succeed on their own.
Let your staff inspire you. At times, an overwhelming workload may force you to consider lowering your standards. Remember that the final product must represent the best efforts of the entire group.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Even in the most stressful situations, don't forget that you are part of a larger world that might benefit from your expertise. In turn, participating in community and family activities can give you skills useful to the job.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Make sure the whole job is done. Your staff may be able to call it quits after the heavy lifting is over, but you are responsible for seeing the work through to its successful completion.</li></ul>From " Shackleton's Way" Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell.<br />
Play to your teams strengths.<br />With every great construction, whether it be a Tent on a camping trip or the TajMahal, there comes into play a matter of structural strength. Would it help if the Corner Stone were used instead of a capstone on a building structure? What happens when we try to use pole 5 instead of pole 12 on the corner of our six person tent?<br /> <br /> It is the same in teams.<br /> You have one person on your team that is somewhat analytical, let that person do what they do best, analyze! You don't analyze best, you lead best. Another person on your team is great with people, let them be the spokesperson for your team, you may not be the best spokesperson, as the team leader, your skills lay in motivating people from within.<br /> <br /> A wise man once said to me, it may be better to be "Wise on the Side" instead of "A Sage on the Stage"<br />
… Play to your teams strengths<br /> Learn your role and those of others, learn that your cornerstone is most suited as a cornerstone and your windows are best suited as windows. By doing this you let the team come together as a cohesive unit. Of course you may from time to time find yourself missing a hinge, or a roof joist, I guess that is where all your experience comes into play, you can fill a role if needed but do not need to take someone else's.<br /> <br /> Operations people should be for the most part Operations people.<br /> <br /> Safety Compliance people should be Safety Compliance People.<br /> <br /> Vice Presidents should be Vice Presidents and<br /> <br /> Presidents should trust their people to be the Corner stones and Capstones of their cathedrals.<br /> <br /> We should all respect and value the roles that each other play, but not necessarily believe that we can fulfill the role any better.<br /> <br /> I have watched a few episode of a TV show called the "Undercover CEO" where various CEO's from companies like "7 Eleven", "White Castle", and "UPS" all donned the uniforms of its regular employees and went undercover in their own organizations. What surprised me is how many of them would have got fired on the first day for not being able to do the menial task at hand.<br />
Continually train yourself, seek out training.<br />"Know Thyself" <br /> Socrates' guiding words are of eternal significance. <br /> No better advice has ever been give to man or woman. When one begins to explore this dictate it leads to profound understandings about all of creation. <br /> It makes unhappiness, fear, sadness, doubt, and all the negative emotions meaningless. <br /> <br />Seek out new ways to understand your own <br />understanding and the way others<br />understand you. <br />When you think you have it figured out,<br />reach down and pull the rug out from under<br />your own feet. Remember that when you<br />have decided you "know something" you<br />remove all possibility that it can ever <br />be any different.<br /> <br />
… Continually train yourself, seek out training.<br />"Knowing Thyself" is to know others, it is also an ongoing emerging of idea and thought that<br /> should not end with our departure even from this planet or on a less grand scale "this company"<br /> <br /> Remember you can take as many classes as you want, but until you look long and hard at yourself with a critical eye (not an eye of criticism) but an eye to what is in your way and what you are capable of, you cannot begin to really know others.<br /> <br />The Vice President of Safety and Compliance for Dart Transit Co. has always said to me that "you have to be a student of the business you are in" In our case it is transportation. We must endeavor to always be in the learning mode. It never ceases to amaze me how one of our Vice Presidents is willing to ask probing questions, to learn more and to take a class once in a while, but others don’t seem to care one way or another.<br /> <br />We are designed to learn, we come into this world soaking up knowledge and continue to do so for all of our lives. It is only when we stop learning that we stop growing. Learn something new about yourself or someone you work with today, it will enrich your professional relationships.<br />
Empower and Encourage well<br />Staff should feel empowered. One mistake for supervisors is to take a half step. They tell their staff that they want them to feel empowered, but never trust them with a decision. Letting them make a wrong decision from time to time is probably the best thing they can do. If you need to, deliberately assign them small easy tasks and trust them to follow through. Encourage their success and learn to teach them from their mistakes. As they learn that you trust them with smaller decisions, they will trust themselves.<br />
Team members emulate a good leader<br />Main Entry: em·u·la·tion<br />Pronunciation: ˌem-yə-ˈlā-shən, -yü-<br />Function: noun<br />Date: 1542<br /> : ambition or endeavor to equal or excel others (as in achievement)<br />Merriam Webster<br />
Feedback, it’s not what you give, it’s what you get that counts.<br /> The most useful feedback is free of judgment, whether it is the judgments of our superiors, peers, direct reports, even our own petty judgments of our own sub conscious mind.<br /> <br /> We, over the years have developed the ability to see ourselves through the filter of what we should or should not be doing, based on our expectations of reward. If we did well as a child, we got ice cream, if we do well in our office we get a good review and hopefully a raise.<br /> If on the other hand we did not do well as a child, we either were punished or informed that we failed the expectations of people we looked up to. If we don't do well in work, we are in the same ugly predicament, or even worse, during review time, we get a nice pat on the back, a small raise and two weeks later are marched out the door with out so much as a hint at what we did wrong. The latter is quite often because we missed the signs.<br /> <br />
… Feedback, it’s not what you give, it’s what you get that counts.<br /> It is when we can honestly look at the feedback we receive form those around us that we can learn to interpret the information coming our way. By releasing the expectation of right or wrong and not worrying about whether so and so likes us or not, we can get on with the task at hand, "getting the results". Some of those results will probably include creating a "developer" as opposed to a "manager" or "supervisor" work environment and creating a space in which to generate content and productive team members.<br /> <br /> Don't base your next decision on how your colleague or supervisor spoke to you this morning, it may be that they had a bad day, it may be that your report was lousy and they don't have the skills to tell you.<br /> Interpret the information you receive in the same way a skipper of a sail boat would interpret the wind, neither good nor bad, but an opportunity to alter course into more effective currents and safer waters.<br /> After all "what someone else thinks of you is none of your business" <br /> Wayne Dyer<br />
Flexibility, what is it?<br />Can you fit a square peg into a round hole?<br /> Let us say for a moment that you have been assigned a project (that you perceive as a square peg) and you have been asked to fit it into a particular outcome (round hole). I think we can all create a visual in our minds eye. We tend to have one of a number of fixed responses to this type of question.<br />No, I cannot.<br />Defeatist response.<br /> This response come from a mind that has very little willingness to look beyond its own narrow belief system. It has explored all possibilities, there are no other options and I know best. This is the mind that is shut down and arrogant, bound for failure, it is also a mind that most people would not follow over a puddle in the search for greatness.<br /> <br />Give me a big enough hammer and I will try.<br />Reaction response.<br /> A little more flexible, but not much, this individual is used to getting what they want by coercion and manipulation, it is no the same response as "Give me a big enough lever and I will move the world" (Archimedes) Or, maybe it is, you decide. It is a path that utilizes brute force instead of vision and creativity. People around a leader with this mindset tire very quickly.<br /> <br />I will need to re-shape the hole, but I can make it fit.<br />Sophistry response<br /> In order for my project to fit, I must re-shape the organization it is going into. This approach costs corporations in this country millions of dollars every year. No energy is put into finding out if the new approach is either inappropriate or even workable, lets just tear the whole thing down and re-build it around the peg. This approach eats away at the core of an organization because the time and resources that are invested detract from the actual running of the business.<br /> <br />
… Flexibility, what is it?<br />What would be the purpose for the fit and how<br /> did a square peg ever come to be offered to a<br /> round hole in the first place?<br />Curiosity response.<br />Curiosity is the most flexible of all these responses because it seeks to answer fundamental questions first. "For what reason did we make the peg square in the first place"? "Why is it that we are choosing to attempt to fit this project into our organization right now?"<br /> This response challenges the question, i.e. it does not presuppose that the objective is to fit a square peg into a round hole.<br /> The result of asking questions like this is a clearer picture of the situation with which to aid a decision making process.<br />
Understand your own communication<br />Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. Understanding your personal style of communicating will go a long way toward helping you to create good and lasting impressions on others. By becoming more aware of how others perceive you, you can adapt more readily to their styles of communicating. This does not mean you have to be a chameleon, changing with every personality you meet. Instead, you can make another person more comfortable with you by selecting and emphasizing certain behaviors that fit within your personality and resonate with another.<br /> There are three basic communication styles: <br />Aggressive <br />Passive <br />Assertive <br />
Personality Types<br />Discovering which style best fits you can be done in a number of ways including personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) instrument, psychological assessments, and self-assessments.(MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.) <br />
Elements of Aggressive Style<br />Nonverbal Cues <br /><ul><li>Points, shakes finger
Proactive, initiating</li></li></ul><li>Remain Aware…<br />Clearly, the assertive style is the one to strive for. Keep in mind that very few people are all one<br /> or another style. In fact, the aggressive style is essential at certain times such as: when a<br /> decision has to be made quickly; during emergencies; when you know you're right and that <br />fact is crucial; stimulating creativity by designing competitions destined for use in training or to<br /> increase productivity. <br />Passiveness also has its critical applications: when an issue is minor; when the problems caused<br /> by the conflict are greater than the conflict itself; when emotions are running high and it<br /> makes sense to take a break in order to calm down and regain perspective; when your power is<br /> much lower than the other party's; when the other's position is impossible to change for all <br />practical purposes (i.e., government policies, etc.). <br />Remaining aware of your own communication style and fine-tuning it as time goes by gives you<br /> the best chance of success in business and life.<br />
Leadership<br />To my mind there must be, at the bottom of it<br /> all, not an equation, but an utterly simple<br />idea. And to me that idea, when we finally<br />discover it, will be so compelling, so inevitable,<br /> that we will say to one another,<br />“Oh, how beautiful. How could it have been otherwise?”<br />John Archibald Wheeler<br />