Want to become a better supervisor?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a business executive or the foreman of a construction crew, there are rules you can learn that will help you supervise others better.
I was already well into my career when I experienced a major breakthrough in my approach to supervising others in the workplace.
I had always considered myself to be a pretty good supervisor. After all, I had been supervising others—or had been supervised myself—in one form or another for many years.
But because my success as an executive was largely tied to how well employees below me performed, I decided it was time to learn everything I could about getting the most from them.
I sat down and started studying supervision at a deep level.
I read books and took courses from the best in the world on the subject. I then started applying what I learned at work when supervising my employees.
To be clear, I consider effective supervision as getting the job done through others in such a way that is:
2. that meets certain standards of quality and other expectations; and
3. that leads to a high degree of engagement
I didn’t become a better supervisor overnight. There was a lot of trial and error. Some tactics I used when supervising others worked well, and others didn’t. I kept trying and studying more.
Eventually, I started noticing patterns.
After enough time, I took these patterns and turned them into a series of rules. When I followed these rules, my team accomplished more and everyone was happy.
But when I violated these rules, things would backfire quickly. My team got less work done and it was of lesser quality. There also tended to be more “drama” and low morale.
And then I had a breakthrough…
My breakthrough was this: being an effective supervisor of others is almost like a science. There are a series of rules you can learn that will make you a better supervisor. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a major corporation or a construction foreman. It also doesn’t matter what kind of personality type you have either.
By learning these rules, you’ll notice improved output from individual employees. You’ll also see greater synergy when having employees work on teams.
Another one of my favorite benefits? Less drama and improved morale among employees. If you’ve ever been in a toxic work environment, you understand the big toll negative emotions can have on the business.
On the other hand, an environment where employees are happy and engaged leads to improved productivity. I decided to share these rules of supervision because they have been extremely valuable both to me and to the clients I work with.
These rules can help whether you have the word “supervisor” in your job title, or whether you’re a manager, or the leader of an entire business.
I have taken all of these rules of supervision and organized them into larger categories that I call “principles”:
The 11 Principles of Supervision
My motto on supervision is “give people power to do an excellent job so you can gain power by getting results.”
1. Master the influence process
2. Create focus and alignment around expectations
3. Master thought leadership and change management
4. Set standards of excellence
5. Give feedback and train people
6. Recognize and reward people
7. Work yourself out of a job (Stewardship vs Directorship)
8. Create a balanced risk-taking culture
9. Build teams for collaboration
10. Build a value based culture to create meaning in work
11. Process Mastery: Lean, Six-Sigma and Theory of Constraints
Over the next several posts, I will discuss what these rules of supervision are and how you can apply them at your business. Stay tuned!
Learn about Principle 4 of Becoming a Better Supervisor: Set a Standard of Excellence
Read about Principle 3 of Supervision: Thought Leadership & Change Management.
Learn about Principle 2 of Supervision: Creating focus and alignment around expectations.
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