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Essential Skills for Supervisors


Understand management roles and responsibilities, including the art of leadership, motivation, communication and delegation. Acquire the leadership skills necessary to “hit the ground running” as a new or prospective supervisor, or take the opportunity to refresh your dexterity as a seasoned leader.


This two-day class is based on time tested and proven leadership competencies. The course content will enhance any operation by improving the skill base of those involved in first line supervision. The agenda has a proven record of customer satisfaction and has been well received by hundreds of supervisors, team leaders and managers.

Program Agenda

Day One - 8:30am-Noon
Communication - The most effective leaders are those who communicate successfully.
• Listening
• Deliver clear instructions
• The communication cycle - its components and keeping it intact
• How to communicate using various styles and modes
• Barrier identification and overcoming barriers
Day One - 1-4pm
Performance Alignment - One of the hardest things to do is manage performance, yet it has the most effect on the operation.
• Set goals
• Provide positive and negative feedback
• Recognition - how and why
• Formal and informal performance appraisals
• Tips and techniques
Day Two - 8:30am-Noon
Building a High Performance Team - Teamwork is the goal, not simply forming teams.
• How do I motivate my subordinates
• Formal and informal teams
• Leadership by example
• Set-up to be successful
• Team stages and how to handle them
• Time Management and Effective Delegation - Make the most of the time available and optimize results.
• Fundamentals of time management
• How to avoid time wasters
• When and how to delegate
• Identify and deal with barriers
Day Two - 1-4pm
Problem Solving - Part of the day-to-day responsibilities is problem solving. Here's how to do it right.
• Root cause analysis
• A simple and effective four-step model
• Tools and techniques
• Effective Meetings - Meetings, meetings, meetings! Let's make them as productive and efficient as possible.
• Keep things on track
• Deal with disruptive behavior
• Design an effective meeting
• Evaluation techniques
• Training New Employees and Implementing New Processes - A common occurrence in the supervisory world...yet often mishandled.
• Save time and money by implementing an efficient training plan
• Setting up the learner(s) to be successful
• Be able to recognize when people get it
• How to deal with change and resistance

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Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Optimize communication opportunities and deliver instructions clearly
  • Handle formal performance appraisals and provide productive feedback
  • Apply a proven conflict management methodology and tweak your style
  • Delegate efficiently and effectively
  • Build a high performance team
  • Strengthen your on-the-job-training program
  • Instill a "root cause" problem solving mentality with your employees

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Course Outline/Topics

  1. Introduction and Logistics
    A) Training Session/ Team Meeting Guidelines
  2. Good Boss-Bad Boss
    A) Traits of both styles of bosses
  3. Communications
    A) Diagrams
    B) Communication Cycle
    C) Keeping the cycle intact
    D) Do’s and Don’ts of asking questions
    E) Tips for answering Questions
    F) Listening skills assessment
    G) Speaking to an employee
    H) Giving verbal feedback
  4. Performance Alignment & Goal Setting

A)     The SMART goal setting model

B)      Principles for writing solid objectives

C)      Action verbs for results-oriented objectives

D)     Principles for writing requirements and measures

E)      Exercises

F)      7 steps for successful performance planning discussions

G)     The less to day process

  1. Building a High Performance Team
    A) Stages of team growth
  2. Resolving and Managing Conflict
    A) Conflict…it’s gonna happen
    B) The resolution process steps
    C) Examples
  3. Time Management and Delegation
    A) Biggest time wasters
    B) Time Savers examples
    C) A simple time management plan
    D) The big picture
    E) The Big Rocks of Time
    F) Questions to ask before delegating
    G) To delegate or not to delegate
  4. Problem Solving
    A) Buck’s simple four step problem solving methodology
  5. Effective Meetings
    A) What agendas should include
    B) Things to consider when planning a meeting
  6. Training New Employees and Implementing New Processes
    A) What do changes mean to a supervisor?
    B) Steps to managing change and implementing new processes
    C) Keys to developing and effective On the Job Training Plan.
  7. Wrap Up 

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This program can be applied toward the:

Course fee includes morning and afternoon refreshment, networking breaks, lunches and instructional material.

"I liked the interaction with everyone. This made the class very interesting and an easy way to learn some new skills."
Dennis Lindemann, Manager, Ladish Forging

"Loved Buck's approach and style! I learned so many practical tips and ideas that I will certainly implement."
Micky Glaser, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Milwaukee, WI

Wed.-Thu., Aug. 19-20
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Rodney (Buck) Hillestad
$845: Register by Wed., Aug. 5
$895: Register on or after Thu., Aug. 6 Discount Available
Enrollment Limit: 30
Program No. 5050-8171
Register Now
Wed.-Thu., Feb. 24-25, 2016
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Rodney (Buck) Hillestad
$845: Register by Wed., Feb. 10, 2016
$895: Register on or after Thu., Feb. 11, 2016 Discount Available
Enrollment Limit: 30
Program No. 5050-8680
Register Now
For more information, contact:
Jan Allen, Director, Business & Management,, 414-227-3219, 888-947-9947