Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Top 10 Mistakes of Supervisors

As was the case in my own corporate career, many supervisors are promoted from staff-level positions simply because they were good at their old jobs.  Making the transition from employee to supervisor can be a challenging one.  A good place to start is becoming aware of the possible pitfalls most new supervisors face.  Most new supervisors face common challenges and often make predictable mistakes.

Top 10 Mistakes of New Supervisors:
  1. Seizing power and attempting to hold onto it
  2. Failing to solicit feedback
  3. Delegating without authorizing
  4. Reprimanding employees in the presence of others
  5. Supervising everyone the same way
  6. Keeping the interesting work for themselves
  7. Siding with team members
  8. Distancing themselves from those they supervise
  9. Promoting an "us-versus-them" attitude
  10. Engaging in illegal behaviors
Avoiding  the above mistakes requires competencies, skills, and knowledge. Becoming aware of the consequences of these behaviors is the first step in the right direction.  Awareness can help us change our behavior and make better choices.

The next step is in identifying the competencies that are necessary for effective supervision.  It's also important to assess your individual strengths and opportunities for improvement and focus on your individual professional development.  Leadership ability doesn't happen overnight.  It is incremental, and skills develop over time with experience and willingness to learn.

The following are competencies that all supervisors need to be successful:
  • Influencing
  • Facilitation
  • Planning and Organizing.
  • Analysis
  • Decision-making.
  • Delegating
  • Follow-up and commitment.
  • Effective Communication
  • Listening
  • Managing conflict.
  • Fostering Teamwork.
  • Technical/Functional Expertise
  • Time Management
  • Motivating Others
  • Coaching and Developing
  • Providing Direction
What are your individual strengths, and what opportunities do you have for improvement?

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR

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