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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Supervision: Too Much or Too Little Won’t Go a Long Way

Updated: May 27, 2020

Long ago, I was a college student and psychology club president. While not exactly a supervisor, I learned a lesson that I took to my future roles as a supervisor. A fellow student and club officer abruptly quit citing, “you don’t let me do anything.” Needless to say, today’s supervisors must deal with everything from work load to responsibilities to morale, and much more. I hope the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to be an effective supervisor are never taken for granted. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Jase Bloor on Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Federally Mandated Training of Supervisors

Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s Federal Supervisor Training Act keeps the spotlight on federal personnel, hiring, and performance management issues. The possibility of big improvements in areas that affect employee morale and productivity could result from such a bill. If this bill passes, the first 12 months on the job would look very different for future federal supervisors. Read more from

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: An Abundance of Training Resources

Thankfully, one helpful role of professional organizations is to offer developmental opportunities – and training programs and books are found in abundance! Here are just a few that are available from a variety of associations. Whether you or your client need these is not the question – the question is when to sign up!

Association for Talent Development (ATD) – preparing front-line leadersNational Career Development Association (NCDA) – clinical supervision training for career counselorsAmerican Management Association (AMA) – management and supervisory skills training

COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY: Supervisors in a Hostile Campus Office

Inheriting a staff, working with a malfunctioning team, and approaching conflict with fear can put a supervisor in a toxic situation. Read this student affairs professional’s story and collect several options for turning things around – including creating a circle of safety (i.e., support) and becoming a hi-touch supervisor.

TOP TEN: Tips for First Time Supervisors

Whether you are in the corporate world, education field, or a non-profit, the first time you have someone working for you, you need strategies for being a successful supervisor. Learning to run a effective meeting is an obvious skill supervisors need, but finding time to relax is equally important. Read all ten tips here then put them into practice at your office and share with your clients.

YOUR LIBRARY: Online Corporate Searches

Brene Brown has said, “Daring belongs to all of us. It’s a choice about how we want to live and show up in our lives.” (Brown blog, 2/19/2015).  Her book  “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead” is a New York Times bestseller. The title of the book is based on the man-in-the-arena quote by Theodore Roosevelt (see below), an inspiration to supervisors in and of itself!  What if all supervisors were taught to encourage the daring greatly together motto that Brown professes changes lives?


“Every person under your supervision is different. They’re all different. They’re identical in most ways, but not in all ways. You have to study and analyze every individual under your supervision and try to work with them in a way that will be most productive.” - John Wooden
“If you can hire people whose passion intersects with the job, they won’t require any supervision at all. They will manage themselves better than anyone could ever manage them. Their fire comes from within, not from without. Their motivation is internal, not external.” - Stephen Covey
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” - Theodore Roosevelt


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