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Supervising your peers with tact (Proceedings)


We reviewed some of the challenges associated with becoming a new supervisor or manager in the earlier sessions (Making the Transition from Technician to Manager), however, this topic needed a presentation of its own!

We reviewed some of the challenges associated with becoming a new supervisor or manager in the earlier sessions (“Making the Transition from Technician to Manager”), however, this topic needed a presentation of its own!  It is a common occurrence in the veterinary practice to find oneself in the challenging position of now overseeing or supervising your best friend or folks that you've worked side by side with for years.  In this delicate situation, you will need to act tactfully and know what to say or do to avoid giving offense, while still completing the responsibilities of your position.

In this session, we will focus on the real-life concerns and challenges surrounding this issue that you have faced or are facing in your hospitals.  We will work collaboratively in offering guidance, support and feedback to one another so that you can head home with the skills needed to effectively handle this situation in your hospital. 

This presentation will provide information to help you:

1.        Focus on the roles/responsibilities and not on the individuals in each position

a.        What can you do for your friends/peers?

b.        What are the expectations that each of you have of the other's role?

c.        Engage the entire team as a group with team meetings

d.        Share and support the vision/mission/goals of the hospital and help your team see the big picture

2.        Beware of common pitfalls

a.        Ignoring the “Elephant in the Room” issue of your friendship and new role – things have changed!  Acknowledge that!

b.        Favoritism – overlooking poor performance or providing more rewards

c.        Placing unfair expectations on your friend

d.        Placing undue stress/concerns about the business on your friend

e.        Complaining about other employees/the owner/the manager to your friend

f.         Crossing the line of what your position should allow

g.        Allowing yourself to be manipulated

h.        Ignoring your own responsibilities in your new position to avoid conflict

i.         Forgetting to get the support of your boss or other mentor when you need it

3.        Improve your communication skills

a.        Task versus relationship oriented

b.        Perception

c.        3 V's – Which is most important in communicating your message to your team?

                                             i.            Visual

                                            ii.            Verbal

                                          iii.            Vocal

d.        Listening Skills – How good of a listener are you?  Huh?

e.        Assertive communication skills – find the balance being direct and tactful

4.        Determine best communication methods and content

a.        Types used in your hospital

b.        Appropriateness of each

c.        Accountability for use

d.        Proper sharing of information/messaging from the owner/manager

5.        Coach and help your peers succeed!

a.        Because you know these folks well, you have the advantage of being able to help support their strengths and their weaknesses

b.        Let them know you are on the same side and want to support their career development

c.        Provide criticism constructively, as a tool to help in that development

d.        Provide discipline when necessary, you still have a job role and responsibility to your hospital that must be fulfilled even when this is uncomfortable.  Focus on behaviors and not personality.

e.        Use Appreciative Inquiry to focus on what you and your team do well!

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