Supervisor Skills

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Six Skills to Successful Supervision
Supervisors are an important part of any organization. They are charged with ensuring the will of management is carried out by the workers. A supervisor must communicate with that team. He or she must orient and train the employees. Their employees must be made to work as a well functioning, productive team. Employees must have the performance evaluated. Any conflicts that arise must be resolves and the working relationship must always be improved. Communication

Well performing teams can not be built without good communication. A good supervisor must possess the ability to relay clearly their own thoughts, listen to the ideas of others and ensure the will of management is executed. Excellent communication is the tool to that end.

The goal of communication in the workplace is to exchange ideas efficiently and unambiguously. A supervisor will have to train employees and educate them on corporate policy. He or she must also listen to the ideas and complaints of subordinates. The supervisor must also be able to take instructions from upper management and keep them informed as well. Effective communication should be considered a loop between the speaker and the listener. Whether in written form or verbal some basic ideas one must keep in mind when communicating with others. Before writing or speaking consider the audience. This step will establish the medium for the communication to take place and the tone that should be used. When speaking to upper management one should adopt a more respectful posture. Clearly state the main points. Use simple language to let the reader/listener know what is to be communicated. People may have difficulty paying attention if the main point is obscured by rambling language or poor structure. Do not leave room for ambiguity. Be specific about any action that is required. Make sure to include dates for deadlines. Do not let emotions color the tone of a written document or conversation. When we communicate with another person we are asking something of them. We are asking them to pay attention to what we are trying to express. There may be more but that is an implied request on the part of all speakers. Since we are asking for something the tone should be polite and to the point. A tone that appears angry or too aggressive may prevent the recipient from grasping the objective.

Effective communication is not just expressing one’s own ideas but listening to the ideas of others as well. Supervisors must listen to and understand directions given by upper management. Furthermore their subordinates will want to express complaints, suggest improvements or share other ideas. Good listening is not a passive act of sitting back and letting someone speak. Good listening, and thus good communication, requires active listening. Dr. Nadig observes active listening occurs when,” “we are also genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting or what the message means” (2007). One must not day dream or interrupt. Day dreaming while someone speaks is considered passive listening by Dr. Nadig (2007). Interrupting is a sign that one is placing more value on his or her thoughts and is called combative listening. The first step is to understand the goal of the communication; what reason does the speaker have to be speaking. Understanding their goal will help to highlight main points and key concepts. Finding the main point of the conversation will allow sharper focus. In many cases the speaker will expect some action to be taken so knowing the objective is essential. Communication has a nonverbal side as well. Pay attention to body language. Look for signs that indicate how the speaker feels. This will be an important step to understanding their goal and how a response should be stated. One must keep in mind not to let personal emotions obscure the speaker’s intent. Keeping an even temper will encourage an upset speaker to calm...
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