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Being a supervisor is not just about watching over the people you are assigned to supervisor. It is much more about developing relationships with those employees. This will help you know how best to interact with them on an individual basis; it will help you to identify and understand stressors that may impact their work; and, it will help you to handle those relationships empathically.

Supervising is not a “one size fits all” kind of situation. As a supervisor you need to be able to identify the areas of strength for your employees and be able to maximize those strengths. Diversity in your team will mean that your areas of strength may support some of my areas of weakness, and vice-versa. Individualizing your approach to each person you supervise will allow you to work more effectively and efficiently towards the goals for your team.

Empower those you supervise to utilize their strengths by putting those skills and strengths into practice. Most people learn by doing, so trust those you supervise to actually DO what they are capable of doing. Don’t be afraid to delegate, but also make sure that people realize that you are there for support. Check in, but don’t micromanage. Allow the people you supervise to exercise their autonomy within the team to meet the goals that have been assigned to them.

Finally, offer constructive feedback. People cannot continue to develop and grow without feedback, however, we also want to make sure that it is feedback offered in a way that will stimulate growth for people. Be timely with your feedback and celebrate the small successes. Once you have a motivated team moving in the right direction, the services provided will be that much better.

Nikki Wince – Faculty Supervisor

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