organization will be measured largely in terms of the
quality of the work of your subordinates. This does not
mean that all jobs can be delegated to the subordinates;
you will still perform some tasks. However, you must
not take the attitude that it is easier to do the work than
to train or direct someone else.
To be a successful supervisor, you should develop
and obtain skills described in the following paragraphs.
SKILL IN LEADING.Here is where you should
excel. Lead the personnel whom you are coaching; do
not drive them. Set examples for them to follow. Know
them as individuals and handle their problems
individual y. Reprimand them in private; praise them in
public. Subordinates will work for you, and their
training will be more easily accomplished and more
effective if you can learn to (1) be predictable and
consistent in your dealings with them;(2) project to your
subordinates the enthusiasm you feel for the work they
are doing; and (3) have no fear of your position, your
boss, the people you are supervising, tough jobs, or
This is not an all-inclusive list of things that will
make you a leader overnight. These items are sound,
basic principles that, when mixed well with common
sense, will improve your leadership abilities.
SKILL IN ORGANIZING. Organization is a
form of discipline that, if carefully managed, can
contribute substantially to successful supervision.
An important element of good organization is the
delegation of authority and responsibility, which must
always go together. It has been said that the ideal of
sound organization should be to fix responsibility as low
in the organization as competence exists to assume the
responsibility. Many individuals are reluctant to
delegate authority because they fear the possibility of
being embarrassed by the acts of their subordinates.
These fears are generally an indication of a feeling of
insecurity on the part of the supervisor. This insecure
feeling can best be overcome by training the
subordinates to increase their capacity for accepting
responsibility and authority.
Not only do supervisors sometimes fail to delegate
authority, but they also frequently fail to delegate
properly the work that needs to be done. Supervisors
can easily handicap themselves by trying to do more
than they need to do. The result is that they become
ineffective supervisors and leaders.
SKILL IN COMMUNICATING IDEAS. To be
an effective supervisor, you should have the skill to
communicate ideas. Clear communication is essential
in giving orders, in the dissemination of information,
and in training or instructing. Clear communications
are essential for both the sender and the receiver.
Throughout your Navy career you have been reminded
of the chain of command and line of authority. These
channels must not be bypassed. If you expect your
subordinates to work willingly and cooperative y, you
must give them all the information they need to get the
The supervisor must be able to demonstrate skill in
instructing. Your subordinates are depending on you to
demonstrate and coach them in the classroom or on the
job in the correct procedures and methods to be used.
You must develop skill in imparting your knowledge to
trainees on how the job is to be done. As trainees
progress from one work experience to another, you will
be guiding and coaching them. To develop skill in
instructing, keep the following in mind:
Show your trainees how to do the job without
showing off or showing them up.
Have all the answers you can, admit it when you
do not, and obtain the correct answer as soon as
Learn to be sincerely interested in others.
Keep your sense of humor.
Be sure the trainee understands what the job is
and how it is to be accomplished.
Ensure that the trainee understands the time
frames and deadlines set for the completion of a
SKILL IN PROBLEM SOLVING. Problem
solving is the practical application of all the other skills
involved in supervision or leadership. Every day new
problems are encountered; there may be difficulties
different from any you have ever met. If you can look
at these difficulties briefly, and then, almost without
pause, see and apply a sound solution, you are fortunate.
Indeed, you are exceptional; for most of us must
cautiously examine difficult problems and weigh the
solutions carefully. Even then, we are subject to serious
errors if we overlook some of the details that are not too
If all of us were to go about solving problems in
exactly the same reamer, we would necessarily have
exactly the same thought processes. Although we do not