The Supervisor I Hope I Was (At Least Most of the Time)
Originally Posted on Linkedin
Recently, I was counseling a young lady who was preparing for a promotional interview to a management position within her current company. She was extremely excited with the nervous energy of someone who really cares for the work she does and wanted to receive the promotion for all the right reasons. As I was thinking about what advice I could give her, I thought about myself and what type of supervisor/manager I was vs. what type of supervisor/manager I wanted to have. (These shouldn't be mutually exclusive, but sometimes they are.) Below are a list of things I told her to think about as she prepared mentally for the questions they would ask her:
1. Remember what the interview is for. Always answer the questions as though you are already the manager.
2. Although your employer sought you out for this promotion, the job is not a given so don't go into the interview as if you already know you have the job, even if you do.
3. You are the best person for the job. You bring empathy, knowledge, and common sense to your organization.
4. Your level of professionalism and willingness to embrace new ideas are the reasons why they sought you out. If you remember to always bring those same qualities to your promotion, you will make a great manager.
5. You must be willing to walk with your staff, and when necessary, in their shoes. This is the essence of a true team leader. Great leaders always remain a part of the team and not above it. This will provide you with an insight that a lot of managers believe is beneath them.
6. Never forget that you were once a subordinate. Always remember your staff may be managers in the future. Be a great example.
7. Without subordinates, you are not a manager; you can't do it alone. Your subordinates give you your credibility; your employer gives you your authority. Do not mix this up!
8. Always publicly acknowldge people and their contributions. Always privately discuss their areas of opportunity.
9. Always hold your staff and yourself accountable for THEIR work and THEIR performance.
10. Frequently let your staff know how they are performing based on THEIR actual work and YOUR actual observations.
11. Always provide constructive suggestions for improvement even if you think your staff is perfect. Do this frequently! Performance and/or Merit reviews should never come as a surprise.
12. Remember, nobody's perfect, not even you.