HOW TO SUPERVISE PEOPLE --- TECHNIQUES FOR GETTING RESULTS
THROUGH OTHERS by Donald P. Ladew. Career Press, 1998



INTRODUCTION --- What does it take to be a successful supervisor? (p5-6)

1) Supervision and leadership (p7-26)

    [1] To "manage" or to "lead?" (p8)

      Are you as a "supervisor" going to "manage" your subordinates or "lead" them?

      Studies show that supervisors get the best results when they manage assets and lead people. Leadership must come first! That means that you must know how to be a "leader" before you can succeed as a "supervisor!"

    [2] Qualities of "EFFECTIVE" LEADERS --- effective leaders have three essential qualities: (p8-9)

      (1) Leaders inspire trust!

      (2) Leaders know how to follow!

      (3) Leaders make contact!

    [3] How you demonstrate your leadership (p10-14)

      (1) Be an advocate for the people who report to you

      (2) Be fair without playing favorites or being a "pal"

      (3) Create a great work environment

        1. Let employees help improve processes

        2. Ask employees what prevents them from doing their jobs

        3. Ask management for the tools your people need

      Creating an environment where people can take pride in themselves and their work generates positive energy in the workplace. According to physics theory, there are two kinds of energy --- potential and kinetic.

      In organizations, there is a third kind of energy, namely, "inertia," which is resistance to change!

      If you apply these three concepts to your library organization, you would have the following:

        1. NEW IDEAS = Potential Energy

        2. IDEAS IN MOTION = Kinetic Energy

        3. RESISTANCE TO CHANGE = Inertia

      The supervisor is the catalyst who gets the ball rolling, recognizes potential, overcomes objections and gets people to give their best. In your library organization, there are great untapped sources of POTENTIAL ENERGY waiting for a leader to overcome the INERTIA ENERGY and convert it to KINETIC ENERGY! That person could be YOU! (p11)

      (4) Provide stability during times of change

      One of your responsibilities as a supervisor is to give your staff a sense of "stability, especially during times of change." You can't prevent CHANGE. However, anything you can do to enhance your staff's ability to feel MORE IN CONTROL OF THE FUTURE will create the essential STABILITY! (p12)

      (5) You must have courage --- You will succeed as a supervisor IF you FOCUS on doing the right thing!

        One of the most common complaints workers have about their jobs is that top management does not value their opinions! The following three types of workers may have the potential to spark new enrgy in your library department --- IF you are willing to LISTEN to their ideas!

          1. The quiet workers who always get their jobs done!

          2. The angry workers who complain all the time!

          3. The status quo workers who do not want to "rock the boat!" (p14)

        [4] Dealing with the "bureaucratic system" like a leader! (p15-16)

        The "bureaucratic system" is the "way things are done around here." It can either be positive and reinforcing, or it can put seemingly immovable obstacles in the way of the work your professional staff needs to do!

        When the "bureaucratic system" interferes with your employees' work, they generally are powerless to change the "system" or even get around it! An effective supervisor does not blame the worker when the "bureaucratic system" raises too many barriers to doing a good job!

        As a leader, think about how you can change the "bureaucratic system" so your professional employees can get their jobs done more efficiently!

        [5] Be a "leader" from the start (p16-23)

        [6] Give away "power" to gain power! (p23-25)

        [7] Summary --- 27 things a good supervisor does! (p26)

2) Goals, purposes and targets (p27-48)

    [1] What is your "product?" (p27)

    [2] What makes a "plan" work? (p32)

    [3] Planning and continuous improvement (p32-34)

    [4] The supervisor's role as a "decision maker" (p34-38)

    [5] "Value-Added Thinking" in your department (p38-40)

    [6] Complexity vs. simplicity (p40-42)

    [7] What you can do to reduce complexity (p43-47)

    [8] Summary: (p48)

      (1) A supervisor is responsible for determining the goals of the department and how they relate to a meaningful mission

      (2) To truly motivate your employees to do their best, your department's mission must be realted to more than numbers

      (3) Before you can set goals, you must know precisely what your department is expected to produce, keeping in mind that anything your staff produces that is flawed is NOT a real product!

      (4) One of the keys to developing meaningful goals is to adopt a "Value-added" Viewpoint --- looking at the value added by each process carried out in your department

      (5) You "add value" when you eliminate unnecessary complexity that affects productivity (the bottom line)!

3) Managing time and stress --- what you will learn: (p49-66)

      (1) How to better control your time --- three things you must do:

        1. Measure work time (keep a calendar --- to know what you are supposed to do --- and a log --- to know how you are really spending your work time)

        2. Manage work time (set priorities --- decide when to do certain tasks and determine what tasks to delegate to others)

        3. Accumulate work time (set aside enough time to accomplish major tasks)

      (2) How to handle stress

      (3) How to handle signs of trouble in your department

    [1] Take control of your time (p51-52)

    [2] How to get larger "blocks of time" (p53-54)

    [3] How to control and reduce stress (p55-56)

    [4] Handling stress of a troubled department (p56-59)

    [5] Handling "stress of change" 60-61)

    [6] Anticipating change (p61-63)

    [7] Understand WHY PEOPLE RESIST CHANGE (p64-66)

      (1) Self-interest

      (2) Misunderstanding and lack of trust

      (3) Different assessments

      (4) Low tolerance for change

      (5) Social arrangements

    [8] Summary --- To be an effective supervisor, you must manage your time and stress effectively! (p66)

4) Handling people --- what you will learn: (p67-96)

      (1) How to help new employees get started right

      (2) How to provide training that gets the work done

      (3) How to handle common employee problems

    [1] Orienting the new employee (p67-70)

    [2] Train your staff for success (p70-72)

    [3] On-the-job training (p72-74)

    [4] Mentoring (p74-75)

    [5] The power of recognition (p75-77)

    [6] Types of rewards and incentives (p78-80)

    [7] Ways to help employees improve (p81-85)

    [8] Identifying candidates for promotion (p85-87)

    [9] Handling "problem" employees (p88-90)

    [10] Monitoring employee's progress (p90-91)

    [11] Absenteeism and tardiness (p91-93)

    [12] The supervisor and the labor contract (p93)

    [13] The grievance process (p93-95)

    [14] Supervising minority workers (p95)

    [15] Creating an atmosphere of equality (p95-96)

    [16] Summary --- Six tips for creating a fair and equitable working environment! (p96)

5) Communication and "team-building" --- what you will learn: (p97-121)

      (1) How to take responsibility for the communication you send and receive

      (2) How to build more productive teams through effective communication

      (3) How to develop the communication skills to defuse conflict and build harmony

    [1] Types of communication (p97-101)

    [2] Communication and your customers --- Who are your customers? (p102-104)

    [3] Communication through effective meetings (p105-111)

    [4] Communication skills to build teams (p111-117)

    [3] Communication through effective meetings (p105-111)

    [4] Communication skills to build teams (p111-117)

    [5] Communication styles to manage conflict (p117-120)

    [6] Summary (p120-121)

      (1) Developing good communication skills is critical to your success as a supervisor!

      (2) As a well-rounded, promotable professional, you must develop ALL your communication skills including conducting effective meetings and making interesting, powerful presentations. By focusing on success, you can eliminate unproductive meetings and inspire others to follow your lead!

      (3) As a supervisor you use your communication skills to share information with others in your organization and to build stronger more productive teams!

      (4) If conflict occurs, you use your communication skills in a way that is most appropriate for the situation. The first choice for resolving conflict is ALWAYS a "win-win" scenario!

6) The supervisor's "tool kit" --- You have one of the best "tools" ever devised, your mind! (p123)

You must "feed" it with knowledge, adjust it with experience, and constantly maintain it with "exercise" --- if you want your mind to serve you well. Never stop acquiring knowledge about how to do a better job!

Make reading and learning a habit! The benefits extend far beyond your work life. They can help you and your peers and subordinates lead happier, more productive lives!

INDEX (p125-127)


Go to: Change and Resistance to Change at Work
Go to: Creativity and Distress at Work
Go to: Leadership and Bureaucracy at Work
Go to: Success and Failure at Work
Go to: Teamwork and Ineffectiveness at Work
Go to: Time Management and Inefficiency at Work
Go to: Keyword Glossary of Leadership Ideas
Go to: Interactive Index