Being a supervisor is a tough job. Being a good supervisor is even harder. You are part of your team yet still ultimately managing their actions while being responsible to the superiors above you calling the shots. Once you find your character and skill traits then being a good supervisor becomes that much easier.
Supervisors have a tough job. They are stuck between the work force they are meant to lead and the superiors above them calling the shots.
It gets even more difficult if they aren’t cut out for the role; some are under-qualified, others lack the character necessary for the job and still others can’t seem to be more than a grey blip on a grey screen. Said flatly, they lack the traits of a good supervisor.
Good supervisors aren’t so easy to find. But you know for sure when you’ve found one. Their qualities are clear simply by comparison. There are two main sets of skills that indicate the traits of a good supervisor:
- Skilled Traits
- Character Traits
The skilled traits of a good supervisor are defined by how the supervisor approaches the job itself.
A good supervisor is first and foremost knowledgeable about his job—about the work his charges are meant to accomplish.
But the supervisor doesn’t merely command or preach with this knowledge, he teaches, and, at times, counsels as well.
He initiates with a can-do attitude. He sets the tone of the work place and the staff. He sets the pace for the work and the direction towards that goal.
The character traits of a good supervisor have a slightly different focus.
These have more to do with how supervisors care about their people. Thus, compassionate qualities are an important part of the character traits of a good supervisor.
Supervisors need to be loyal and honest. They need to care about their employees on both a personal and professional level.
Employees can trust loyal and honest supervisors—especially when it’s time to go to bat for them. Moreover, honesty and loyalty are key components to a healthy culture in the workplace.
Fairness and empathy are also key character traits of a good supervisor.
When either office politics or personal emergencies rise up, employees need to find their supervisor understanding and empathetic, not hostile or distrustful.
But it has to be genuine. Fraudulent empathy is transparent and neither helpful nor becoming of a good supervisor. Good Supervisors are genuine themselves, and that naturally transposes to those around them.
Honing Your Traits
The traits of a good supervisor are both naturally resident and consciously honed.
The traits of a good supervisor manifest in two main ways: through the work itself, and through the people at the work place.
Leaders are knowledgeable about both their own job and the jobs of those the lead; they also know how to treat the people around them because they genuinely care for them.
By tapping into these skills a supervisor can improve their role in the office and upper management can find more suitable people in the first place.