Sunday, October 04, 2009

Excelling as a First-Time Supervisor

Recently I had the opportunity to attend "Excelling as a First-Time Supervisor"

Key points that I learned are:

*The four personality types and what these types are looking for and how to reach them: Director/Ruler (need to get/see results ), Social/Entertainer (needs to be appreciated), Thinker/Analyzer (just wants facts), Relators, (see relationships)-this can help you figure out where people are coming from.

*When correcting it is better to show than scold or yell as this can lead to excuses and blaming.

* People's minds have a horse and rider. The horse is the unconscious mind full of what one has learned and how one has been conditioned to react. The rider is the conscious mind. We need to make sure that the rider is in charge and helps us control our reactions to what others say and do and to life in general.

*Keys to success are remembering about the horse and rider, establishing relationships, and good communication.

* Learn about supervisees on own through research and talking with informed people, don't comment on predecessors track record, but be aware of it.

*Communication is 55% body language, 38% vocal inflection/tone, 7% content. The first 93% is not reflected in e-mails so one has to be very careful using this form of communication. Sometimes it is necessary to change the way we communicate to be effective.

*Roles of Today's Leaders: Developer of People, Communicator (check for understanding), Coach, Barrier Breaker, Bureaucracy Smasher, Expediter, Facilitator.

*Benjamin Franklin Technique-A method for assessing staff: List strengths, weaknesses, and actions to be taken (training, cross training, counseling, coaching, better systems or procedures, a better match between nature of work and employee's style, other actions)

*Managing Change: 1) Grease the skids-explain why the change is needed, 2) Let staff help decide why change is needed and how to implement it, 3) Maximize information flow before and during the change, 4) Close the loop coming out-give lots of feedback

*5 Unique Qualities of Leaders: 1) A passion for action (lead by example), 2) An ability to remain focus on getting objective accomplished, 3) A passion for helping others succeed, 4) A sensitivity to the moment to motivate, 5) The ability to deal effectively with blame (because people are scared) and praise-give a safe environment to make mistakes

*6 ways to achieve personal excellence as a leader 1) welcome change, 2) willing to say "no" looking for ways to say "yes", 3) help others be right, 4) check humility quotient, 5) deal effectively with blame and praise, 6)don't blow own horn

*Delegating: 1) create milestones and a clear objective in projects, 2) have a timetable,3) make people accountable for work, 4)coach them along the way, 5) let them know how important the work is, 6) let them know what they can and can't do.

*Developing staff: 1) Find out what motivates them, 2) When mistakes happen: clarify expectations, explain consequences, explain what want changed and by when, ask for feedback and commitment, show firmness and seriousness about matter, keep brief record of the meeting. Don't ignore problems, Don't criticize/discipline in public, Don't yell, Do look at the behavior.

*When need to discipline: make sure it is fair, prompt, dispassionate, consistent, you are in the right mind set and have practiced what you want to say, and you document what was said/done. Be tactful-this means making a point without making an enemy.

When you need to correct the way someone does something, go from their strengths. If you have someone who gives you too much information at one time you could say "I see you've got a lot of great ideas and I want to help you be a better communicator so you can share them. My mind can't process all the ideas you are giving me at once so I need you to tell them to me one at a time so I can really listen to them."

*When communicating: Look at the image you and your business convey, model how you want company's resources treated, evaluate how accessible you are and what image your office/work area projects.

*Communication methods: 1) in person if possible, 2) minimize written communication, but use it when needed, 3) write to the level of the receiver and keep it simple, 4) don't put anything in writing that not willing to "eat", 5) Do put in writing anything you want on the record like confirming a verbal agreement, 6) Look at body language and what it conveys, 7) Look at the types of questions you ask and what kind of information you can get with them.

*Listening fixes: 1) Listen to what is said, not what think will be said-repeat a little of what was said to confirm what you heard and to help connect to the person, 2) Don't interrupt, 3) Minimize interruptions from others, 4) Give verbal and non verbal feedback-give feedback by emphasizing importance of what someone is doing and asking for his/her help.

*Attitude: understand that thoughts and feelings lead to actions

* Believe in your staff, Be humble, care about people so you can 1) be demanding of them, 2) be compassionate, 3) discipline them, 4) praise them, 5) risk not being liked


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