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   www.Tools2Succeed.com  March 2014: Newsletter 2 Succeed

Competencies of a Successful Supervisor



Let's look at some competencies that are essential to effective supervision.

Influencing - Your ability to influence others affects your ability to lead.

- Persuade others to accept a desired point of view.
- Gain commitment and support from others.
- Effect change in the behavior of others.

Facilitation - Leaders need to be able to facilitate meetings or group efforts without directing the outcome.

Effective facilitators:
- Create an environment of openness and trust.
- Help groups make decisions in which all participants feel a sense of ownership.


Planning and Organizing – Leaders need to be able to plan and organize.

– Develop comprehensive project plans.
– Monitor progress against goals.
– Assign clear responsibilities.
– Breakdown work into manageable portions.

Analysis - Leaders must:
– Analyze data.
– Use logic effectively.
– Perceive the relationships among diverse information.
– Make decisions based on interpretation of the data.

Decision Making – Leaders have the ability to make:
– Timely decisions. Timely doesn't necessarily mean quick; it means within an appropriate timeframe.
– Effective decisions, sometimes without all of the data they like to have.

Delegating – Leaders must be able and willing to:
– Assign tasks to others while maintaining responsibility for results.
– Consider the skill level of the employee and the difficulty of the assignment or task.

Follow-Up and Commitment.

Effective leaders must:
– Persist regardless of obstacles.
– Keep their promises.
– Follow their plans through to conclusion.

Effective Communication – The role of effective communication and leadership is evident.

Leaders must be able to:
– Clearly express themselves in groups.
– Convey ideas so the listeners can understand them.

Listening – Good leaders:
– Pay attention to others.
– Let them know that they are listening and understanding.
– Ask for clarification where necessary.

Managing Conflict – Effective leaders:
– Identify sources of and manage conflict.
– Use conflict as a constructive process.
– Keep Energy Focused on Desired Outcomes.

Fostering Teamwork – Leaders of teams:
– Clarify roles of others.
– Clarify responsibilities of others.

Technical/Functional Expertise – Team members expect their leaders to:
– Possess current knowledge of their profession and industry.
– Possess technical skills.

Time Management – Effective leaders:
– Set efficient work priorities.
– Can work on many tasks simultaneously.
– Balance importance and urgency of tasks.

Motivating Others – If leaders are to get the work done, they can't do it all themselves.

They've got to be able to:
– Create enthusiasm.
– Solicit commitment in others.

Coaching and Developing – Effective leaders and supervisors:
– Give timely, specific, and constructive feedback.
– Provide challenging, developmental assignments.

Providing Direction – Effective leaders:
– Provide clear direction.
– Set clear priorities.
– Promote a clear vision.

Now that we've reviewed the essential competencies for effective supervisors and leaders, let's take some time to assess your individual strengths and opportunities for improvement.  Click here for a self-assessment exercise.


Now let's take a few minutes to answer the questions below. These questions will help you explore ideas for taking action to improve your skill levels.

  1. In which two or three competency areas do you need to improve at this time?

  2. What will you gain by bettering yourself in these areas?

  3. What have you tried before?

  4. What steps can you personally take to improve in those areas?

  5. What help and support you need to improve in those competencies?

  6. How will you monitor your progress?

  7. Who needs to know about your action plans for improvement?

  8. How will you tell them?

  9. What are your first five steps?

For more information on supervisory skills, please contact us.

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