Supervisoral Development

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision.

Simply put, supervisory development is an effort (hopefully, planned in nature) that enhances the learner's capacity to be a supervisor. Supervision often includes conducting basic management skills (decision making, problem solving, planning, delegation and meeting management), organizing teams, noticing the need for and designing new job roles in the group, hiring new employees, training new employees, employee performance management (setting goals, observing and giving feedback, addressing performance issues, firing employees, etc.) and ensuring conformance to personnel policies and other internal regulations. A critical skill for anyone is the ability to manage their own learning. The highly motivated, self-directed reader can gain a great deal of learning and results from following the suggestions and using the materials in this section.

The following topics are very closely related to this topic: Supervision, Management Development and Leadership Development.

Sections of This Topic Include

Preparation

Optional: Suggested Readings from the Library
Before Supervisory Development, Get Impression of What "Supervision" Is
What Does Supervisory Development Look Like?
Strong Value of Self-Directed Learning

Informal Activities to Learn About Supervision in Organizations

Attempt to Go Beyond Reading Books ...
Ideas for Activities to Learn About Supervision

Customizing Your Own Supervisory Development Program

Preparation for Designing Your Supervisory Training Plan
Determining Your Overall Goals in Supervisory Training
Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities
Developing Any Materials You May Need
Planning Implementation of Your Supervisory Training Plan
Evaluating Your Supervisory Training Plan and Experiences
Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan

Guidelines for Conducting Supervisoral Development Programs

General Resources

Additional Information for Nonprofits -- Auditing Personnel Management Practices
Basic Guide to Supervision and Personnel Management

Also see
Related Library Topics

Also See the Library’s Blogs Related to Supervision

In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Supervision. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog.

Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Training and Development Blog



Preparation for Learning

Optional: Suggested Readings from the Library

To gain broad perspective on supervisory development, the reader would benefit most from first reading the following information.
Introduction to Organizations (read documents referenced from the section titled "Basics")
Basic Definitions and Roles in Management
Training Basics -- Understanding Learning and Development
Training Basics -- Understanding Training and Development

Before Supervisory Development, Get Impression of What "Supervision" Is

The first place to start learning about supervision is to get some sense of what supervision is -- in particular, understand get an impression of the areas of knowledge and skills recommended for effective supervision in organizations. Review information in:
Basic Overview of Supervision
Skills and Practices in Organizational Supervision

What Does Supervisory Development Look Like?

If you read the information in the section Training Basics -- Understanding Learning and Development listed above, you learned about training programs that are informal and formal, and other-directed or self-directed. Supervisory development programs come in all of these combinations, as well. You can learn about supervision in informal "programs", for example, by reading some articles, discussing supervision with a friend, etc. You can attend formal training, for example, a course, seminar or workshop. At this point, it might help you to get some perspective on the nature of supervision development programs by looking at some. See
Supervisoral Development Program (including developing leadership)
Multifaceted Training for Supervisors: A Best Practice
Five Ways to Look at Bosses — a Leadership Training Profile
On-the-Job Development Opportunities for Nonprofit Staff
A Future of Leadership Development
Ready to Lead? The Next Generation Speaks Out

Strong Value of Self-Directed Learning

The ability to manage one's own learning is an increasingly critical skill. Bouchard explains, “Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that traditional approaches to [training!] program design and delivery in the workplace and in associative organizations present some important weaknesses. Problem areas include: coping with the short life span of useful knowledge; passing down acquired competencies to succeeding cohorts; accommodating the demands of productivity while providing for a continuity of learning; [and!] enabling learners to pursue activities that correspond to their learning styles and needs” (in Self-Directed Learning in Organizational Settings (working paper), Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, p. 1).

This topic in the library provides an excellent opportunity to begin managing your learning. To learn more about self-directed learning, see
Strong Value of Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace



Informal Activities to Learn About Supervision

Attempt to Go Beyond Reading Books ...

There are a wide range of everyday and on-the-job activities from which you can learn about supervision and even enhance your supervision skills. Informal methods can include, for example, reading books, having discussions with friends, on-the-job training, keeping a diary with thoughts about supervision , etc. One of the more insidious ways to avoid learning to supervise is by reading lots of books about supervision, rather than actually implementing any of the advice offered in any of them. You're not likely to develop much for supervision skills merely by reading, talking or attending a course unless you actually apply new materials and methods, and continue to reflect on what you're learning along the way.

Ideas for Activities to Learn About Supervision

One of the most effective and reliable ways to learn is to do so consciously, in a planned fashion. Therefore, be sure to consider customizing your own supervisory training plan. Complete guidelines are provided in the next section, Customizing Your Own Supervisory Development Plan.

The following table includes numerous ideas for activities from which to learn about supervision.

Get guidance and assistance:
· Seek to find a mentor
· Hire a personal/professional coach

Readings to consider:
· Read free Basic Guide to Management and Supervision
· Read articles on management
· Read major function -- planning
· Read major function -- organizing
· Read major function -- leading
· Read major function -- coordinating
· Read books on management and supervision
· Review the basics of organizational change
· Review the self-management for new managers and supervisors

Skills to practice:
· In your next assignment or in a personal plan, design and word goals to be SMARTER
· Learn to be a mentor
· Learn to coach others
· Give a presentation
· Practice basic skills in delegation
· Practice basic skills in listening and sharing feedback
· Customize personal guidelines for some basics in leading, for example, problem solving, · decision making
· planning
· Plan a meeting and facilitate a meeting
· Clarify your personal values and how you live them out -- develop your codes of ethics and codes of conduct

Some workplace activities for learning:
· Start (and stick to) a new project at work or in your life, ideally that includes supervising someone
· Ask your supervisor, peers and subordinates for ideas to develop your supervisory skills
· Ask to be assigned to a supervisory position
· Regularly solicit feedback from others about your supervisory skills
· Give a presentation about major personnel policies in your organization

Other sources for learning:
· Identify traits and behaviors of your favorite supervisors and managers
· Consider these development methods
· Design a personal development plan
· Take strong participation in an apprenticeship or internship that involves supervising someone
· Take a leadership or management role in a management association
· Volunteer to lead a work or community project, or join a board of directors

Capturing your learning:
· Schedule (and stick to) ongoing periods for private reflection; record them in a journal
· Consider designing a formal training plan ((see below)

· Also consider Ideas for Activities to Learn About Management
· Also consider Ideas for Activities to Learn About Leadership



Customizing Your Own Supervisory Development Plan

Your are much more likely to learn useful skills in supervision if you develop and implement a training plan. The following sections will guide you to develop your own complete, highly integrated (and performance-oriented) supervisory development plan. Each section includes reference to particular sections in the Complete Guidelines to Design Your Training and Development Plan (hereafter called the "Guidelines"). That document includes guidelines for you to identify your overall training goals and the learning objectives and activities to achieve the goals. Guidelines are also provided for carrying out the learning activities and evaluating your entire learning experience.

Preparation for Designing Your Supervisory Training Plan

Read the following two initial sections of the Guidelines (up to "Determining Your Overall Goals in Training") and then return to the next section below.
Directions to Use "Complete Guideline ..."
Preparation for Designing Your Training Plan

Identifying Your Overall Goals in Supervisory Training

Purpose of this Section

This section helps you identify what you want to be able to do as a result of implementing your training plan, for example, qualify for a certain job, overcome a performance problem, meet a goal in your career development plan, etc. Learners are often better off to work towards at most two to four goals at a time. There are a variety of ways to identify your training goals, depending on what you want to be able to accomplish as a result of implementing your training plan.

Begin Identifying Your Training Goals

Consider Performance Gaps, Growth Gaps or Opportunities Gaps

Performance gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to improve performance and are usually indicated during performance reviews with your supervisor. Growth gaps are areas of knowledge and skills need to reach a career goal. Opportunity gaps are areas of knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of an upcoming opportunity.

Conduct Self-Assessments

The following online, self-assessments may help, as well, by helping you assess certain areas of your own supervisory abilities.
Needs Assessments for Management Training and Development

Collect Input From Others

Ask others for ideas to improve your supervisory skills. Try get their input in terms of behaviors you can show. Consider input from performance reviews. See
Performance Reviews / Appraisals
360 Degree Leadership Training: Does It Work?

Reference Lists of Areas of Knowledge and Skills Needed in Variety of Roles and Function

Competencies are lists of the general abilities needed to perform a role. Consider the following list.
Suggested Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Needed by Supervisors
Caution About Using Competencies in Management Development

Reference Books and Other Materials About Management

There is a vast amount of information available regarding supervision and management skills. See
Various Suggestions for Knowledge and Skills Needed in Management

Look at Goals and Objectives of Supervisory Development Programs

The following programs might give you ideas for training goals, etc. Be careful not to simply adopt goals without first considering if they'd really be useful to you.
Supervisoral Development Program (including developing leadership)

Don't Forget to Supervise Yourself!

Developing skills in supervision involves changing yourself, stretching yourself. Therefore, you may want to include developing skills in:
Basics for New Managers and Supervisors to Management Themselves
Self-Confidence
Assertiveness

On to Refining and Writing Your Training Goals in Your Plan ...

The Guidelines provides additional advice for identifying your training goals. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities " and then return to the next section below.
Determining Your Overall Goals in Training
Thoughts About Improving Management Training and Development Programs

Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities

Purpose of this Section

The purpose of this section is to identify the various learning objectives you should achieve and learning activities you should undertake in order to achieve the overall training goals in your plan.

Identifying Your Learning Objectives

Carefully consider each of your training goals. What specifically must be accomplished (that is, what objectives must be reached) in order for you to reach those goals? Which of these objectives require learning new areas of knowledge or skills? These objectives are likely to become learning objectives in your training plan. To get a stronger sense for learning objectives, see Basic Guidelines and Examples for Writing Learning Objectives.

Identifying Your Learning Activities

Learning activities are the activities you will conduct in order to reach the learning objectives. The activities should help you work toward your training goal, accommodate your particular learning styles, be accessible to you and be enjoyable as well. The following link might help you.
Ideas for Activities to Learn About Supervision

On to Refining and Writing Your Learning Objectives and Activities in Your Plan ...

The Guidelines provide additional advice for identifying your learning objectives and activities. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Developing Any Materials You May Need" and then return to the next section below.
Determining Your Learning Objectives and Activities

Developing Any Materials You May Need

Developing materials might include, for example, getting books, signing up for courses, reserving rooms, getting coaches, etc. The Guidelines provides additional guidance to develop any materials you may need. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Planning Implementation of Your Training Plan" and then return to the next section below.
Developing Any Materials You May Need

Planning Implementation of Your Supervisory Training Plan

During implementation, you should think about whether you're really understanding the materials or not, need additional support, etc. The Guidelines provides additional guidance to you during implementation of your plan. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Planning Quality Control and Evaluation of Your Training Plan and Experiences" and then return to the next section below.
Planning Implementation of Your Training Plan

Evaluating Your Supervisory Training Plan and Experiences

Evaluation includes assessing and making value judgments on whether you achieved your training goals or not, and on the quality of the process to reach those goals. Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines until you come to its section titled "Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan" and then return to the next section below.
Planning Quality Control and Evaluation of Your Training Plan and Experiences

Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan

Follow the steps in the following section of the Guidelines.
Follow-Up After Completion of Your Plan


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For the Category of Supervision:

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

General Information About Supervising Other Individuals

Leadership and Supervision in Business - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best employees for your business. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or employee), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among employees of small businesses. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.
Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff - Book Cover Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC. Provides step-by-step, highly practical guidelines to recruit, utilize and evaluate the best staff members for your nonprofit. Includes guidelines to effectively lead yourself (as Board member or staff member), other individuals, groups and organizations. Includes guidelines to avoid burnout -- a very common problem among nonprofit staff. Many materials in this Library's topic about staffing are adapted from this book.

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.



Also See

Human Resources -- Recommended Books

Leadership -- Recommended Books

Management -- Recommended Books

Personal Development -- Related Books

Training and Development -- Recommended Books

Facilitation and Teams -- Related Books






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