Training Supervisors to Be Leaders: A Missing Element in Efforts to Improve Federal Performance
Author(s): Dr. James Thompson, University of Illinois at Chicago
Publication Date: 06/26/2007
Publication Topics: Leadership
Publication Type: Research Reports and Surveys
For the bulk of the workforce, the most relevant leadership comes from first-line supervisors. Supervisors have direct contact with workers and impact day-to-day performance more than managers at other levels.
Previous research reveals that, within the federal sector, individuals are selected as supervisors largely on the basis of their technical qualifications. Unfortunately, those with the best "hard," technical skills do not always make the best leaders. Of equal, if not greater importance, are "soft" skills such as communication, team-building and conflict resolution.
This report focuses on a relatively small number of agencies that have adopted a capacity-building approach to leadership training for first-line supervisors. The report includes a series of recommendations for both policy-makers and agency heads.
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