Define supervision what are the qualities of a good supervisor

A situational supervisor is flexible with their approach. For example, a coaching method may work well with one employee on the team, while another more independent worker will thrive with laissez-faire leadership. Situational leadership allows you to adapt to whatever style is needed at the moment, achieving the best results without the drawbacks. Of course, a lot of skill and training is ultimately required to adopt this method of leadership. If you are looking to change your supervisory style, there are a few actions to consider. The first step to changing or improving your leadership style is understanding what type of leader you are now.

Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. How do you handle your employees? What is your communication style?


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Pay attention to how you deal with various situations and make a note any time you notice that you are using one of the defined leadership styles. Educate yourself on further supervisory styles. There are many leadership programs, classes and resources available to those looking to enhance their skills.

The Essential Skills of the BEST Supervisors: Supervision Essentials

Take advantage and learn everything you can about each leadership approach and how to implement it. This learning process is an especially important step if you plan on taking an adaptive style. With your new leadership skills at the ready, begin adapting your new approach. In each situation, think about what you are trying to achieve and how you can reach the results you desire. Choose the supervisory style that will best help you meet your objectives.

What is Supervision? How Do I Supervise?

For example, if an employee is struggling to meet deadlines, you likely want to avoid a pacesetting approach until that employee's confidence is built up. This employee might also require coaching to get up to speed. Or, say your team suffers a major disappointment, such as a canceled project that everyone put a lot of work into. This is a good time for the affiliative approach. You could do this by bringing the team together for a pizza party to celebrate their hard work.

Perhaps you could have them each say something they learned from the experience.

Excellent Communication Skills

This can foster bonding and help reframe a negative experience into a positive one, thus boosting team morale. Remember to remain flexible.

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Your approach may change depending on the circumstances. You can always continue to adjust your style as necessary.

Chelsea Levinson earned her B. Share It. Coaching : A coaching leader focuses on one-on-one development with an employee. This relationship often looks like that of a mentor and mentee. The coach helps develop an individual to get the most out of their performance, priming them for bigger things. Coaching is an excellent supervisory style to use when an employee or team member is struggling or becoming disengaged from their work. It can also work for highly motivated individuals who are looking to gain promotion. In any case, coaching is a motivating style of leadership.

Affiliative leadership is often used to boost morale or bring a disjointed team together. This style of leadership is positive, encouraging and social.

Supervisory Skills - Become a Successful Supervisor

This style of leadership is best used in conjunction with other leadership styles. This leader is continually working to improve performance, efficiency and outcomes. While pacesetting can be motivating up to a point, this supervisory style can occasionally leave employees feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.


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Nobody wants to feel like they are constantly failing. If the bar is being set too high and goals are not achievable or goals are only attainable by overextending oneself employees will eventually lose motivation. For this reason, pacesetting should be used sparingly, and in concurrence with other supervisory styles. This person motivates every team member with their strong communication skills, empathy and vision.

Transformational leaders have a high level of social intelligence and a knack for elevating everyone around them. Transformational leadership is often cited as the most desired and successful supervisory style. This person treats work as a transaction. Good work is rewarded, while poor work is frowned upon. In some ways, this can be motivating to employees, as they are driven by the potential reward of a job well done. This leader likes to keep things neat and traditional.

Tending to lead by example, this person motivates all those around them. Sometimes, a servant leader is not in an official position of leadership, yet others naturally gravitate towards their example.

Supervisory Skills – Become a Successful Supervisor

But if you display confidence and positivity, your employees will be secure in your skills as a leader. Supervisors who come to work with a positive attitude make the office environment a great place to be. They use this attitude when solving problems, so the issues don't loom as large as they might. And positive attitudes are contagious.

People tend to take on the attitude of their environment, and being positive is a good one to assume. Make sure to celebrate wins to acknowledge good work of the staff. While a confident and positive outlook is important, not every decision you make will work out well. When a project fails or a choice backfires, accept responsibility and learn from the mistake. Supervisors do have to keep some secrets.

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This is especially the case for sensitive personnel matters, where an individual's privacy has to be respected, or for emerging company products or policies that aren't quite ready for a public announcement. But when possible, a good supervisor operates in an open and transparent fashion, letting employees know of projects, opportunities, concerns, and anything else that is likely to be of interest to the workforce and for which there is no valid rationale for secrecy. A good manager will help employees improve their work up front instead of waiting months to provide feedback.

Your openness will encourage dialogue among employees and between employees and a supervisor they see to be a trustworthy and reliable source of information. Great managers love the company they work for, understand the company culture, and appreciate the company's objectives. They can easily convey to their employees why this is a great place to work, getting team members on board and excited to contribute.

Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. Mack studied philosophy and economics at the University of Memphis. Skip to main content. About the Author Stan Mack is a business writer specializing in finance, business ethics and human resources. Mack, Stan.