Before taking on the responsibilities of a supervisor, this candidate had 4-years experience in same process that he is currently supervising. Upon being recognized as a potential candidate for supervisory role, he was selected for an in-house front line leadership training workshop. Qualities of a supervisor: According to the interviewee, the three most important qualities of a good supervisor include knowledge of the work, coaching skills and ability to build strong interpersonal relationships. Knowledge and expertise related to the concerned work and tasks will help in training and guiding the executives; secondly, these will also help in monitoring their progress and providing the correct and constructive feedback so that the executives can continuously improve their performance. In order to train and continuously improve the team members’ performance, the supervisor needs to earn their trust and confidence which is possible only when the team members believe that their leader has the knowledge of the work and is aware of the challenges and issues related to their work. This will help the supervisor and the team members to work together without any conflicts. The second most important quality is coaching ability because it is their responsibility to coach their executives on work, on attitude and behavior, as well as provide constructive feedback. Thirdly, the supervisor feels that the ability to build strong interpersonal relationships is essential for executing effective leadership.
Supervisor’s functions also involve empowering individuals with tasks according to their skills and abilities; motivating the staff through appreciation, promotion, and meeting their expectations as much as possible; managing the smooth running of work processes; handling conflicts and influencing team members to perform as per organizational expectations. All these functions require an understanding of the executives’ needs and expectations; work closely with them; empower them as well as provide support and guidance. In order to achieve these, building strong interpersonal relationships with every team member becomes necessary. The supervisor was aware of the requirement of knowledge before he was promoted to supervisory role; however, he realized the need for having coaching skills and building strong interpersonal relationships only after taking on supervisory responsibilities. The supervisor felt that he should have invested more time in creating strong relationships with colleagues even before he took on as supervisor. Challenges in supervisory role: The supervisor’s coaching abilities were challenged when he had to help the newly joined executives improve their performance. His immense knowledge was of little help; he then spent time with each individual and tried to understand every individual’s abilities to handle the specific job. He then trained each individual separately so that desired performance was achieved. Strengths and improvement areas: The supervisor’s strengths included communication (verbal and body language), and working knowledge.