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Running Head: CHARACTERISTICS OF AN effective supervisor


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Characteristics of an Effective Supervisor

A 4 Pages Term Paper on Introduction

Good supervisors almost have many of the same qualities that a good teacher or good counselor has. That is, they are empathizing, flexible, true, open and friendly. They respect their supervises as individuals and as developing professionals, and are also sensitive to individual differences such as gender, race, ethnic) of their supervises. They maintain the "fine line" with their employees by establishing friendly but courteous relationships, treating all fairly.
As a good supervisor or a team leader, they try asking for help rather than giving the "know-it-all" impression and give their subordinates the confidence they require and set a good example by being consistent.

Furthermore, they are comfortable with the authority and evaluative functions inborn in the supervisor role, giving clear and frequent indications of their evaluation of their performance.

Even more, good supervisors enjoy supervision and are committed to helping the organization grow. They have high levels of conceptual functioning, with a clear sense of their own strengths and limitations as a supervisor, and can identify how their personal traits and interpersonal style may affect the conduct of supervision.

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In addition, a good supervisor should articulate a vision for the organization and manages by principle rather than by policy by effectively coaching his supervises and teams. At the same time, he should be able to fully understand and as well communicate business information to avoid barriers for good team effectiveness.

Moreover, another important ingredient of a good supervisor is having a sense of humor, which helps both the supervisor and his supervisee to get through rough spots in their work together and achieve a healthy perspective on their work. Such a personal traits and relationship factor is considered as significant as technical prowess in supervision.

However, a successful team leader is also skilled at dealing with feelings of people along with practical methods of effective problem solving. The skills most needed by the team leader are: linking together individuals who can contribute, bringing clarity to objectives, building a climate that is both supportive and confronting, ensuring that work methods are satisfying and effective, and setting an environment that encourages and allows for the discussion of all relevant issues.

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Characteristics of an effective Supervisor

The characteristics of an effective supervisor can be further explained well in the following points:

Norms for quality performance

By setting standards for your employees, it will help them know what is expected of them. Moreover, give them enough room and special incentives to meet these set norms once put in action.

Incorporate Vision

One of the most powerful forces to have an effective outcome is to put forward, in cooperation with team members, an exciting vision/purpose of what the team is to achieve. Once the vision is developed, it needs to be kept in front of the team members as a reminder of what they wish to accomplish.

Trust  & respect for the ability of your subordinates

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An effective supervisor recognizes that trust & respect is important for getting best results. If you demonstrate trust & respect in your subordinates' skills & abilities the chances are very good that they will in turn demonstrate trust & respect in your skills & abilities as a supervisor.

Encourage & foster communication.

Keep an "open-door" policy, which will help keep communication flowing between you and your employees. Always be available and approachable to your employees, so they aren't too intimidated to come to you. Also, be open to receiving feedback from them.


An effective supervisor has confidence in their ability to do the job. This confidence subtly demonstrates the supervisor's right to authority.

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Coordination will improve communication and feedback among team members which will automatically improve the work environment, control the operational atmosphere, and in general, indirectly doing things that help to produce a cohesive, finely tuned working team.

Good communications skills & listening skills

An effective supervisor demonstrates a willingness to listen and consider the opinions of others. You should realize that employees perform best when they feel they belong, when they feel they are allowed to be involved and when their participation is recognized and used.

A professional disposition & demeanor

An effective supervisor portrays a professional demeanor and sets an example for professionalism in the organization by treating peers and subordinates with courtesy and professionalism.

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Be supportive and analyze contributions.

Employees often look to supervisors for feedback and direction. A supportive management style reinforces confidence and encourages employees to continue their hard work.

Offer formal and informal training.

By fostering a learning environment, you will help employees stay on top of the latest skills related to their job duties.

Honesty & Consistent Behavior

An effective supervisor does not let personal friendships & relationships interfere with supervisory decisions. You should be capable of recognizing and commending outstanding performance as well as recognizing poor performance and dealing with it fairly.

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Good work habits

An effective supervisor recognizes that they are role models for performance in the organization. Therefore, he projects a neat appearance, gets to work on time.

Reward and appreciate good work.

Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to motivate employees to work their best.

Set and lead by example.

Set an example to others in your workplace. Make sure that your own actions are consistent with the expectations you place on your employees. When you practice effective management techniques and create a healthy work environment, both you and your employees benefit.

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Being true & having integrity

An effective supervisor remains "true to their word." He does not mislead their subordinates through their words or deeds.


An effective supervisor is capable of making decisions and assuming a leadership role in conflict resolution and/or problem solving.

Self-motivation & the ability to motivate others

An effective supervisor understands their subordinates and what motivates them.  He fully understands that not everyone shares their needs & goals and what motivates one individual may not motivate another

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The primary responsibility of every supervisor is production. Whether the job is in the office or in the shop, supervisors are paid to see that the work gets out properly and on time. However, supervisors must also practice a balanced approach, not only taking care of production but their other responsibilities as well. Supervisors should analyze their duties and responsibilities and pay proper attention to each phase of their job.

A true leader is a person whom people want to follow because they trust and respect that individual. Trust and respect are critical elements in establishing supervisory authority.

Supervisors who depend on their position status alone to establish authority are likely to see increased turnover, lower productivity and decreased morale in their workforce. By understanding and applying the qualities of an effective supervisor, new as well as tenured supervisors can improve their own job satisfaction as well as improve the stability and productivity of their organization.

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The Good Supervisor, ERIC Digest by Borders, L. DiAnne. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on November 28, 2001

Retrieved from the World Wide Web on November 28, 2001
The Distributed Mind: Achieving High Performance through the Collective Intelligence of Knowledge Work Teams, Kimbal Fisher and Mareen Duncan Fisher. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on November 28, 2001

 Arnold Bateman, (June 1990). Retrieved from the World Wide Web on November 28, 2001


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