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What Skills Do I Need as a Supervisor?

What Skills do I Need as a Supervisor?

What supervisory skills do I need?

As a supervisor, you need to develop the following seven skills.

1. Set and communicate clear, specific goals.

2. Prioritise and plan work into its most logical order.

3. Delegate the right task to the right person.

4. Inspire action in every member of the team.

5. Continually monitor the feedback-results your teams actions are creating.

6. Notice what is NOT working: Make intelligent corrections to the plan.

7. Notice what IS working well: Give immediate appreciation to those who have earned it.

Here are a few words on each skill set.

1. Set and communicate clear, specific goals.

The team exists to achieve goals. The supervisor's first task is to understand the MAJOR Goal and to break the major goal into its subsets. Then to effectively communicate the subset goals to the team.

2. Prioritise / organise the work into the most logical order.

You cannot do everything at the same time. So, you must prioritise tasks into the most logical order. Everything has a proper order (sequence). If you do the "right things", but in "the wrong order", you can get very bad results. Supervisors must understand the value of proper prioritisation and organisation.

Supervisors skill: Do the right things in a logical order.

3. Delegate each task to the correct person.

Once you have the tasks put into order, then you allocate them to the correct person. Delegation is a key skill for supervisors to master. Delegate as much work as you can, to the correct person, at the right time.

4. Inspire action in every member of the team.

If we assume now that everyone knows the goal and the plan, it is important to get people into action.

Some people tend to procrastinate.

Supervisors need to overcome any procrastination that is present in the team.

Supervisors must motivate people to take action.

5. Monitor the feedback results being created.

As soon as people act, they generate "feedback results". These feedback results can be either positive or negative. The supervisor must keep a constant watch on the quality of the feedback results the team's recent actions have created.

Is the feedback positive or negative?

6. Notice what is NOT working well: Make necessary corrections to the plan.

Negative feedback identifies the parts of the plan that are not working well. The supervisor's skill is to identify the negative and take immediate corrective action to improve the situation.

This is the one of the most challenging and important skills for the supervisor to master, and therefore, you may need some specific training in this aspect of supervision.

7. Notice what is working well: Give appreciation and praise to the team.

It is also important to notice what is going well, and to issue positive feedback to those members of staff who have earned it.

Supervisors should be quick to give proper appreciation, praise and thanks, to those members of the team who are doing a good job.

Failure to give proper appreciation has been the cause failure for many supervisors.

Supervisory skills include a good understanding of the "social motivators", such as thanks, appreciation and praise.

Supervisory Skills Training Course

If you would like to learn more about training for Supervisors, check out our practical Supervisor Training Course, which is held at venues throughout the UK and can be delivered in-house as well.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Supervisory Management Skills

  • Supervisor skills training
    Supervisor skills training The supervisor has a difficult role. They are under pressure from all sides: From the more senior managers From the customers From the other team members The supervisor is often promoted internally, from within the organisation, and may even be "managing his mates": which is very difficult. Your...
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  • What Skills do I Need as a Supervisor?
    Supervisors have an important place in your organisation. In order for them to be successful in their role, you need to empower them with our practical Supervisory Skills Training Course.
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  • Communication Skills for Supervisors
    For your organisation to succeed, your Supervisors need to be proficient in communicating with the people in their teams.
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  • Supervisor Training
    Team Supervisors need to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be an effective and well-respected team leader. Supervisory skills training courses need to cover all the topics that will be of benefit to your supervisors.
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Looking for Supervisor Management Skills Training?

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12 - 13 June
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