Making a smooth transition into supervision (LFUYR -M1 S6L1)
Making a smooth transition into supervision
In the survey, managers referred to two types of problems for first-time supervisors. On the one hand, they cited supervisors who were “above themselves,” had a “big head,” and an attitude of “their way is the only way.” On the other hand, they saw problems with supervisors who “have a hard time jumping in and taking charge,” who “ shy
away from conflict or reprimanding employees when necessary,” and who in general “lack the confidence” to do a good job. Managers want supervisors to “do” less and lead more. “They need a better understanding of the difference between leading and doing,” said one respondent. “They need to learn not to fear trusting their direct reports and to give them the freedom to learn and to fail.” “Technical experts promoted to management need special coaching,” said one respondent. Managers recognize the difficulty at the human level for first-time supervisors. Respondents spoke of the difficulty of moving “from being a friend to being a leader.” So, while some managers cited supervisors who “maintained their loyalty to their old friends” to the detriment of the work, others talked
about the unrealistic expectations for instant respect. “Respect, like trust, must be earned,” said one manager. They want supervisors to shift their focus from the work to
the people in their workgroups who do the work—understanding and supporting their needs, developing their abilities, making resources available, and removing roadblocks.