Communispond’s Supervisory Essentials™ is a series of interrelated workshops that provides the knowledge, tools, and skills to immediately establish a leadership role and helps participants understand how to avoid the typical traps presented to new supervisors and managers.

Each workshop wraps up with a “key learning/action planning” discussion and a job aid to help transfer effectiveness back on the job. The goal is to ensure immediate success and allow new managers to quickly establish their leadership role and eliminate the typical start-up challenges.


List of all supervisory essentials workshops

Workshop Summaries

1. Define Yourself or Others Will!

(2 hours) This first workshop provides a framework for starting out in a new supervisory or management position. Learning how to balance the competing interests of people and departments/workgroups requires managers to have a command of facts and information to make effective decisions and take appropriate action. Beginning with caution at first is critical in making the right impression. It is actions, not your words, that count most. Through actions, a new manager’s attitude “speaks” so loudly it trumps and overpowers anything one says.

2. The Customer is the Business

(2 hours) To ensure performance management excellence, supervisors must possess business acumen—an understanding of how a business creates value and makes money. Nothing is as critical as creating long-term customer value and ensuring that the impact on customers is not overlooked. This workshop provides insights on how to incorporate the customer’s point of view into performance results.

3. Leader vs. Independent Contributor

(2 hours) There are 4 basic performance management principles that will come into play routinely throughout the career of a supervisor or manager. Coming to grips with these principles and learning how to effectively execute practices grounded on these principles dramatically increases effectiveness and success. This workshop introduces participants to these 4 universal principles and offers a framework for managing the performance of others.

4. Working with Your Boss

(2 hours) When managing the performance of others, new managers enter un-charted waters. Developing a good relationship with one’s boss and
using that relationship effectively can help eliminate many obstacles in growth as a supervisor or manager. A manager’s boss is the person with the greatest control over one’s future as a supervisor or manager. How the relationship is managed will have a critical impact on short and long-term success.

5. The Law: Compliance Basics

(2 hours) Perhaps nothing can cause a supervisor or manager as much difficulty as ignorance of applicable labor laws. A clear understanding of the rights of employees is not just important—it is essential knowledge. Legal concerns can and will vary by organization, location, and state or province or country. This workshop includes common topics that apply to most organizations and will provide the participant with assistance that can make them much more effective.

6. Performance Review Skills

(2 hours) An important new responsibility when managing the performance of others is to provide input into the organization’s formal or informal performance review process. Developing specific skills that provide fair and just review of performance is an important undertaking for new supervisors or managers. This workshop provides a skill-based overview of the three critical elements in performance review.

7. Handling Difficult Situations

(2 hours) Not all situations that come before the new supervisor or manager will be easy to deal with. A main responsibility and obligation in a supervisory or managerial capacity is to address, and many times confront, difficult and uncomfortable issues. This workshop provides some skills for handling a variety of difficult situations that supervisors or managers will face.

8. Handling Performance Problems

(2 hours) Not all direct reports perform satisfactorily. Performance problem situations are a supervisor or manager’s defining moments. The way these defining moments are dealt with can either trap a manager in a cycle of limitations, decreasing the quality of work life, or enable the management of performance effectively. This workshop provides a skill-based model for confronting and addressing performance problem situations.

9. Difficult Direct Reports

(2 hours) Often, supervisors and managers must deal with direct reports—or others who deliberately make life difficult. Failure to develop the skills necessary for handling these unwelcome situations undermines credibility and effectiveness. No matter what the issue, a manager must make effective and quick interventions when necessary. This workshop provides skills for implementing those interventions.

10. Your Influence Potential

(2 hours) Leadership is the process of influence. Social power is a person’s influence potential—it is the resource that enables a person to induce compliance, or gain commitment from others. Understanding how to build effective power bases and the appropriate use of those power bases is a critical skill for effective supervision and management. The appropriate use of social power by managers and supervisors establishes their character and integrity.

11. Coaching Style Flexibility

(2 hours) Among the many responsibilities required to effectively manage others, coaching is at the top of the list. A leader must recognize the performance needs of the direct reports and give them the confidence that they can accomplish their task responsibilities through their own efforts. This workshop provides a skill-based framework for coaching performance—with an emphasis on flexibility and diagnosis.

12. Initiative and Delegation

(2 hours) The two resources supervisors and managers have for managing the performance of others is time and influence. Like any resource that is invested, a manager wants the highest return possible. This means spending time—this finite resource—wisely. Not leveraging time means losing influence. This workshop focuses on skills for creating initiative, preventing upward delegation and effectively delegating appropriate tasks.