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  APRIL 2012 Issue #002

Poor supervisors ask vague and general questions that don't help them make decisions. Great supervisors demand specific and concrete answers that help them with decision making and help hold people accountable.

When you ask questions that aren't specific, like "How's the job going?", it allows your team member to give general responses...

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Welcome to First Line Training's newsletter. We hope you find it interesting, entertaining, and worth a few minutes of your time to read. Each month we'll share a success story, give you an idea you can put to use right away, and, as you can see in the space above, we'll include an idea that will help you have the mindset you need to be a great supervisor. We welcome your comments. Write to us at info@firstlinetraining.ca. And please feel free to forward this to anyone who you think might be interested.


The Details Made the Difference

Installing an axle may seem pretty mundane, but it can be something to get excited about! One of our participants (I’ll call him “Pete”) took the tools he learned and reduced the labour needed to install an axle by 42%!

The company makes heavy wheeled equipment. Preparing the walking beams and then attaching them and the axles had historically taken 3 1/2 hours. Pete chose this task as one to see if he could improve.

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The Retiring Supervisor

We’ve all heard about the baby boomer generation that is starting to retire. It is affecting not only the folks doing the work but supervisors too. If you have supervisors that will retire in the next couple of years, it is time to think about how you will replace them. Growing a fully skilled supervisor can take time.

In the last couple of months I’ve had conversations with five companies that have this problem. One larger company is facing retirement from half its supervisors in the next five years. Another has just one supervisor but he is 70, and although he is still in good health, he’s clearly slowing down.

The question faced by these companies and many others is, “How do you prepare?”

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Four Questions about Performance Let You Know When to Train!

Better training is often the answer to performance problems, but not always. If it isn't appropriate, then it's a waste, and who can afford waste today? So a simple way to determine whether training is the right response will be helpful.

A fellow I respect enormously once commented that if he has someone not doing what is wanted, he asks himself these four questions, and in this order.

1) Does the individual know what behaviour is wanted?
2) Does she know how to do it?
3) Does she have the capability to do it?
4) Does she have the interest to do it?

His opinion was that most of the time, the problem is that the person doesn't actually know what is expected.


>> read more

Blog Posts
January 20, 2012
The new TV mini-series Bomb Girls gives us insight into the challenges of being a supervisor. Fun too!.

February 6, 2012
Supervisors need to take a lesson from doctors and copy one of their most powerful practices: rounds.

March 8, 2012
Good instruction can really be a matter of life and breath.
Enter our CONTEST

Tell us how you made a difference in your organization through training, process improvement or by dealing with a problem performance effectively. Each issue we'll tell one story. If we use yours, you'll receive a $25 VISA gift card. Please submit your story by emailing us at info@firstlinetraining.ca

Upcoming courses

Uncommon Supervisory Leadership Program

April 30 - May 4, 2012
Langley, BC

Learn the basic elements of supervision: how to train, how to improve process, how to handle problem performance issues, and how to manage your work day to maximize your results. 5 half days plus a 20-day coaching program to follow up.

Call Hugh at (604) 866- 1502 to Register or e-mail info@firstlinetraining.ca.


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