Today, I am honored to have one of my very best friends guest posting today on the blog. I hope you enjoy her post.
I have been the low man on the totem pole as well as a supervisor of many, in small settings and large organizations. From my experiences, I believe a good supervisor exhibits the following traits, regardless of the setting or the field—things I aim to embody every day. Many of these are easier when working in close contact; however, they can be achieved when supervising from afar. Being the boss isn’t easy, but there are things we can do to make it a more positive experience for everyone.
1. Be honest and respectful.
There are times when you won’t agree with your co-workers or your subordinates. However, you should be honest and respect them and their opinions. Sometimes, it is hard, to be honest, but it can and should, be done.
2. Professionalism is key.
Working with someone doesn’t mean you have to like them on a personal level. It does help, but it isn’t the do all or end all. We all have our quirks and things that drive us crazy, but maintaining professionalism is a must for any supervisor.
3. Work together to find solutions.
Allow your employees to have ’buy-in’ when trying to solve problems. It’s important that you remember that you don’t know everything and that dictating all the time doesn’t benefit anyone.
4. Practice active listening.
One complaint I’ve seen over the years is that employees don’t feel like their boss always hears what they’re saying. Being a good supervisor means that you need to recognize when someone needs more time than you have at that moment. Asking them to schedule time with you shows you respect their time and that you want to listen to their thoughts.
5. Be clear with expectations.
Provide clear cut guidelines and focused feedback with your employees. Do you remember a time when you weren’t sure what to do next or how to please your boss? Good, don’t do that to your employees.
6. Motive and coach.
Don’t reprimand only, instead coach and motivate employees to improve. The old saying, “you catch more flies with honey,” rings true in business. There are times when employees do need to be reprimanded but don’t forget that part of your job is to coach your employees and help them succeed. Coaching involves helping others recognize their deficiencies and guiding them to solutions. By coaching employees, you can help them succeed while increasing their self-awareness.
7. Provide the necessary tools.
You can’t build a house without a hammer, and your employees can’t be successful if they aren’t supported. Support comes in many varieties— a cup of coffee (okay, I can send a picture), guidance, feedback, a ‘thank you’ at times, and even having the hard conversations when times are rough. When employees have the necessary tools, they can be successful. When your employees are successful, then you are successful as well.
It’s a simple word—and we all care, right? Demonstrating you care is much more challenging than telling someone you care. We all experience difficult times; be willing to help employees when they reach out. Ask them to reach out so that you can help. Through all of the traits above, you can show your employees that you care.
What can we all do?
Listen more. Motivate. Be available. Coach. Care.