We all know when we have a good supervisor, but it can be quite difficult to actually state what makes a good supervisor good. Is it to do with their personality, their insight, intelligence, reasoning, or their personal beliefs, morals and values? Is it a mix of all these things, and do certain characteristics apply more than others? As we sit to think about this daunting question, the first thing we should appreciate is that there are a huge amount of traits that need to be considered. In the interests of not writing an entire novel, i will be focusing on a few select traits which i believe to be the most important in regards to being a good supervisor.
Firstly, a good supervisor must be (or at least act like) a good coach. For a supervisor to be successful, it is imperative that they have the qualities that we ascribe to any normal coach. This is because a coach knows how important it is to coach their team, or in this case, employees. Successful coaching means working together with your subordinates to create and modify action plans and objectives. Supervisors must know how to delegate tasks between individuals, and give all the support and guidance that may be needed. On the topic of individuals, a good supervisor must understand that everybody is different, and to be mindful of this fact when dealing with his or her team members.
Secondly, a good supervisor must have a positive outlook and be a positive thinker. He or she will think how problems can be solved, while maintaining an air of amiability, so that they remain approachable, and their subordinates or not fearful or tiresome of them. This is very important, because if an employee comes up against a problem, having an approachable supervisor will make solving the problem so much more quick and easy than otherwise. Additionally, a good supervisor's qualities of positivity will make other employees think positively, improving morale.
Thirdly, a good supervisor must be an advocate for his or her subordinates, and be fully accountable for the actions of all team members. They should have the resolve to stand up for their team, and recognize hard work when they see it, and not be afraid to punish those who do not behave appropriately. If a given employee is worthy of promotion, then the supervisor most support his or her case to the manager. The supervisor is in a unique position - in a position of authority similar to a manager, but more approachable and with the ability to speak more freely and informally.
In conclusion, a good supervisor certainly requires all the traits mentioned above. Such a supervisor will radiate positivity, leadership and confidence, setting the right example to the employees. A genuine concern and love for the job, the tasks at hand, and the employees is what is needed, and to lean more to the friendship side of things, rather than the managerial side.