Dependability involves consistently meeting obli-
gations promptly. A reputation for being on time,
every time is worth every effort on your part. Build
this reputation early, even before you become a first-
line supervisor, and maintain it.
Any violation of dependability or integrity will
cast serious doubts upon your ability to act as a
responsible supervisor. One violation of integrity may
take months (or forever) to rectify.
Teaching ability is a vital trait of a good super-
visor. A large part of your job will involve instructing
personnel in one way or another. Even giving orders
is a form of instruction.
You should learn and practice the art of public
speaking, the principles of on-the-job instruction, and
the techniques of conference leadership. People who
cannot stand on their feet before a group and express
their ideas should not be supervisors. To be a success-
ful supervisor, you must be able to train and develop
RELATIONSHIPS WITH SUPERIORS
Your bosses are very important to you. In their
hands rests much of your success in your job.
Whether or not you like them personally, you must
cooperate with them if you hope to advance.
Many supervisors rate loyalty at the top of the list
of desirable qualities. A loyal supervisor does not crit-
icize the boss to others, even if there is cause for oc-
Dependability is another desirable quality your
superior looks for in you. He likes to know that when
you are given an assignment, you will complete it to
the best of your ability and on time. There are few
things more annoying to a boss than a subordinate
who always has an alibi or who cannot be depended
on to do a job.
Do not be a yes person; but, on the other hand,
do not go to the extreme of being a no person. Good
bosses want subordinate supervisors who are not
afraid to tell them tactfully what they think, even if it
means telling them that they are wrong. But they do
not like having a subordinate who is against every-
thing and who stubbornly resists every idea.
Good supervisors have a quiet self-confidence
(not an arrogant or cocky manner) based on thorough
knowledge of the job and belief in their own ability.
Confidence begets confidence. It is amazing to see
how people will follow those who have confidence in
themselves. Mousy, hesitant supervisors who lack
self-confidence cannot inspire confidence in others.
On the other hand, beware of arrogance. Some su-
pervisors put on such a front of aggressive confidence
to hide their own inferiority feelings that they ridicule
the opinions of others, dominate conversations, and
are arrogant toward others. Such people are much less
effective than they think they are.
Supervisors who have a quiet inner confidence,
which is expressed in their confident manner, actions,
and words, are respected and followed.
Most bosses resent employees who make it a com-
mon practice to tell them bluntly what should be done
or what should not be done. It is easy to get your
ideas across to the boss without incurring resentment;
just put them in the form of a question: What do you
think about this idea? or Do you think this would
If the boss gives you an assignment that is ob-
viously a mistake, tactfully ask about handling it from
another angle. However, if the boss insists on carrying
out the order as specified, do not argue.
Bosses like to know what is going on in their
areas of responsibility, but they do not want to be