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what are the top ten qualities of a supervisor?

Updated on June 8, 2012

10 management skills

Managing a group of people who all have different personalities, abilities and who may or may not interact well with each other is not an easy task and, in my opinion, to be successful you require certain qualities and skills such as:

  1. Excellent communication skills. You need to relay instructions very clearly so every part is well understood in order to avoid mistakes. You also need to listen carefully to what your employees tell you. A very good way to make sure someone has understood your instructions is to ask them to repeat everything in their own words. To make sure you have received information correctly, you should say "so what you are saying is..." and repeat in your own words. This simple method avoids many misunderstandings.
  2. Fairness. Human beings react badly to what they perceive as unfair. So if you delegate work to others make sure you are scrupulous in allocating pleasant and unpleasant tasks evenly.
  3. Good organisational skills are essential. It is your job to coordinate the work and allocate resources. You should know where everything is and be prepared for the task.
  4. Knowledge. Part of the supervisor's job is to train others so it goes without saying that you should be at least one step ahead of them.
  5. Accountability. If a mistake is made by one of your team you should acknowledge responsibility every time unless they have deliberately disobeyed your instructions.
  6. Efficiency. For your department to work like clockwork you should always have the next task ready to be allocated to the right person so no-one spends any time doing nothing.
  7. Adaptability. Be ready to manage change efficiently as and when it happens even if you don't agree with it.
  8. Social skills. You should be courteous at all times. When you have to tell someone off, it should be done assertively but politely and never in front of other people. Everyone makes mistakes and nobody needs to be humiliated. Shouting at people is not a good idea as they will become resentful and unhappy. You will get more done with a smile than with rudeness. Don't be afraid to praise your team for a task well done. The carrot always works better than the stick.
  9. Diplomacy. As a supervisor you have loyalty to the company who pays your wages but also loyalty to your team who are responsible for your results. A difficult balance which requires a great deal of tact.
  10. Self-discipline. As a supervisor, you should inspire respect so discretion in your private life is essential nor can you tell people off for lateness if you are always late yourself.

 

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    • profile image

      Arinze 15 months ago

      It is good and useful

    • profile image

      Bonnes A.Maleva 21 months ago

      Thank you very much for introducing this information for learners and other scholars.Real it is a wonderful piece for the present and in future because experience has shown that many don't know their responsibilities as supervisors. Big up madame.

    • profile image

      Jane .O. 2 years ago

      Thank you very much for providing this information for students, supervisors and those to become supervisor in future because many don't know their responsibility as a supervisor.

    • profile image

      Rose-Marie owumi 2 years ago

      Thanks a lot for this master piece. It will sure help my work as a supervisor

    • profile image

      ammu 2 years ago

      super :)

    • profile image

      Tobias jumba 2 years ago

      The article delivers everything in a layman's language. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Lawal Yusuf Abubakar (El~Y YUSUF) 3 years ago

      That am looking for since.... I thank GOD I got it now... KUDOS to the person who posted it.

    • profile image

      fredy shereni 3 years ago

      wow

    • profile image

      Kingsley N Appiah 3 years ago

      This platform have really help me a lot in my career as a restaurant supervisor. thanx a lot

    • profile image

      Muhammad B. Muhammad 3 years ago

      i sincerely appreciate and forward my gratitude to those give me more information about this matter, because i can now differentiate about the things supervisor do in schools and their needs in school.......thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      babylyn pongpong 3 years ago

      thank you for this information .. :) it will help me alot .. im a newly promoted sales supervisor and i don't know how to handle people and i don't how to be supervisor .. so, thanks a lot .. i will keep these information .. :) i did not save it to my PC rather i wrote it in my notebook .. :) see ,how your information influenced me .. :)

    • profile image

      BENSON MOKABEDI 4 years ago

      Thank u i realy gain many things from ponts SIR

    • profile image

      kiseka 4 years ago

      its really gorgeous and wonderful thx 4yo help

    • profile image

      Osielo Tobias 4 years ago

      Thank you, i have realy gain many things from the attributes of a supervisor.

    • profile image

      Shekinah 4 years ago

      Thankssss, Helpful!

    • profile image

      Oyetoki Oluwaseun 5 years ago

      Thank you, i realy gain many things from your points.

    • profile image

      khan usman 5 years ago

      hi martine, can i use it f0r my paper w0rks 2 b publish?

      and i think, kn0wng d empl0yee but n0t t0o pers0nal, is an0ther nice idea 2 b included.

      tnx!

    • profile image

      Aita cross 5 years ago

      Thank u for ur worth discription on significant qualities of supervisor . I have to attend supervisor interview in this week.it helped me a lot to answer question

    • profile image

      Joseph 5 years ago

      Here, here. I could not have said it better!

    • profile image

      steve 5 years ago

      1st let me say that's a job well done many thanx to that. I really needed that I applying for a new job as a supervisor. thanks

    • profile image

      Eka raj 5 years ago

      It really useful words and who will flow your valuable point he will get a great opportunity

      Thanks so much

      By Eka Raj

    • profile image

      Salah Al Matrook 5 years ago

      Very good and usful

    • profile image

      jennylyn 6 years ago

      what are the steps that should undergo to improve the quality of supervisors?

    • profile image

      Yosigawa 6 years ago

      thankyou very much,it is very useful

    • profile image

      mesktav 6 years ago

      thank you for this information it inspire me in my quest for becoming a better supervisor for the company which i work.

    • profile image

      Enoce kitomary 6 years ago

      Thank you martin for your materials about good supervisor qualities,they helped me in my study on how to supervis people in my work place.

    • profile image

      Yusufawa 6 years ago

      Thank u very much nw i judge my self & i can judge any body.

    • profile image

      Ahmad Usaini Umar 6 years ago

      I'm very glad for fond this the top ten qualities of a supervisor.This is because, I took several times of looking for this gualities

    • profile image

      conny from Cali. 6 years ago

      Thank you for the well structured insight on the qualities a supervisor needs. I wish all supervisors would read this and apply it, some take advantage of their position, and in return you end up with frustrated and burned out employees!

    • profile image

      Gitonga david 6 years ago

      Keep up good analysis.iwould like to have more.

    • profile image

      Arun kumar 6 years ago

      easy way 2 understand and very useful tips 2 become a good supervisor. thank alot.........

    • profile image

      Aru kumar 6 years ago

      easy way 2 understand and very useful tips 2 become a good supervisor. thank alot.........

    • profile image

      raj 6 years ago

      thank you very much for providing the information, about how to be a good supervisor..

    • profile image

      roshidah 7 years ago

      thank you martine. this article really help. straigt forward and easy to understand.

    • profile image

      Charles V Ra...ju 7 years ago

      Thank You...Perfect..well detailed...n too the Point...

      Thank You

    • profile image

      Babar Ali 7 years ago

      thanks

    • profile image

      Dominique George 7 years ago

      I must say your information was very useful to me in writing my thesis for my project.

    • profile image

      Mohammad Hussain Issari 7 years ago

      thank you very much for these wonderful information. I got confuse to write an essay about best qualities of a boss, but when I found this, I could write a strong one and now I'm very happy and feel ok.

      thanks

    • martinecallaghan profile image
      Author

      Martine Callaghan 8 years ago from Edinburgh - Scotland

      That's always a good place to start but you need to be very honest with yourself. It's difficult to see ourselves as others see us.

    • profile image

      Ranju Pandey 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips so that I can evaluate myself.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      thank you for answering my request....

    • Nina Smart profile image

      Nina Smart 9 years ago

      In addition, I would suggest the following qualities and skills:

      1. Know your employees by name. Make an effort to get to know them on a personal level, i.e. their hobbies, families, culture, etc. However, don't get too personal - unless you are working for FBI, CIA, or police this interest could be suspicious.

      2. Start evaluating your employees from the position that they are superb and any mistake they make is just an exception. Nobody wants to work for a supervisor who firmly believes that their employees are inferior.

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Martine, I strongly believe in your statement, that people are the biggest asset any enterprise possesses. And also, that there is simply not enough good leaders out there. Without a proper leadership any organizational structure collapses on a long term basis. I also like your good example of your head of department.

    • martinecallaghan profile image
      Author

      Martine Callaghan 9 years ago from Edinburgh - Scotland

      Many thanks solarshingles. I am, in fact, describing a very good head of department I had when I started teaching and she had all those qualities. I flourished under her leadership and guidance as did all the new teachers who came to her department and we achieved great things individually and as a team. Sadly, I have met many more bad ones than good ones resulting in demoralised and frustrated highly skilled and enthusiastic staff leaving the profession. People are the most important resource of any enterprise and require and deserve good leadership to achieve success.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 9 years ago from India

      well said...

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Dear Martine, I admire your precise - very punctual and short description of a good Supervisor. I believe, your description could be accepted in any educational material about describing basic leadership skills, as well. Thank you!