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Business Category Business: career motivation and tips to move ahead

Skills needed to be a supervisor

When you're supervising other employees, you need to employ a wide range of skills. Knowing the basics of the work that a supervisor performs and evaluating your own talents and skills will help you understand the job and your aptitude for it.

Supervisory skills

A supervisor must be willing to build good working relationships with those he supervises. Effective communication skills, including listening as well as providing information, are crucial. You have to be able to gain your employees' trust by demonstrating your willingness to support them and give fair consideration to their input.

Be knowledgeable about work processes, procedures and company policy. You should be available when employees have questions that they can't answer on their own, and have the ability to find answers quickly when they aren't obvious.

You must also be able to give your employees the necessary training to enable them to perform their work to the best of their abilities. Knowing the basics of adult learning patterns and being able to convey information to an audience with diverse capabilities is essential.

For you to trust your workers to do their jobs without constant supervision, your skill at cultivating a mentoring attitude, where you coach your employees and encourage them towards self-direction, will contribute to their increased autonomy and improved self-esteem.

You should be comfortable using an evaluation procedure to determine your employees' strengths and weaknesses, and to identify goals for the next evaluation. Tact, patience and empathy are valuable traits and skills to bring to this process, along with a positive attitude and the willingness to give positive and constructive input to your employees.

A supervisor sometimes has to settle disputes or mediate conflicts employing skills such as active listening and conflict resolution.

Along with company regulations, a supervisor must be capable of applying government regulations concerning health and safety, environmental issues, sexual harassment and discrimination.

About the Author

Margaret Morris has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She also holds a celebrant certificate from the Celebrant Foundation and Institute. Morris writes for various websites and private clients.

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