Essential Skills for Supervisors

Understand management’s roles and responsibilities, including the art of leadership, motivation, communication and delegation. Acquire the leadership skills necessary to “hit the ground running” as a new or prospective supervisor, or take the opportunity to refresh your dexterity as a seasoned leader.

This course can be applied to the Emerging Leaders Certificate.


Rodney (Buck) Hillestad

Rodney (Buck) Hillestad

Rodney (Buck) Hillestad is founder and president of Hillestad Learning Technologies, a training and development company specializing in training design and delivery, along with leadership/managerial, and team skills. Buck regularly delivers classes for the University of Wisconsin extensions and is ... read more

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Optimize communication opportunities and deliver instructions clearly
  • Handle formal performance appraisals and provide productive feedback
  • Apply a proven conflict management methodology and tweak your style
  • Delegate efficiently and effectively
  • Build a high-performance team
  • Strengthen your on-the-job-training program
  • Instill a “root cause” problem solving mentality with your employees

Course Outline/Topics

  1. Introduction and logistics
    A) Training session/team meeting guidelines
  2. Good boss-bad boss
    A) Traits of both styles of bosses
  3. Communications
    A) Diagrams
    B) Communication cycle
    C) Keeping the cycle intact
    D) Do’s and don’ts of asking questions
    E) Tips for answering questions
    F) Listening skills assessment
    G) Speaking to an employee
    H) Giving verbal feedback
  4. Performance alignment & goal setting

A)     The SMART goal setting model

B)      Principles for writing solid objectives

C)      Action verbs for results-oriented objectives

D)     Principles for writing requirements and measures

E)      Exercises

F)      Seven steps for successful performance planning discussions

G)     The less process

  1. Building a high-performance team
    A) Stages of team growth
  2. Resolving and managing conflict
    A) Conflict…it’s gonna happen
    B) The resolution process steps
    C) Examples
  3. Time management and delegation
    A) Biggest time wasters
    B) Time savers examples
    C) A simple time management plan
    D) The big picture
    E) The big rocks of time
    F) Questions to ask before delegating
    G) To delegate or not to delegate
  4. Problem solving
    A) Buck’s simple four step problem solving methodology
  5. Effective meetings
    A) What agendas should include
    B) Things to consider when planning a meeting
  6. Training new employees and implementing new processes
    A) What do changes mean to a supervisor?
    B) Steps to managing change and implementing new processes
    C) Keys to developing an effective on-the-job training plan
  7. Wrap Up


Program fee includes morning and afternoon refreshments,  networking breaks, lunches, instructional material, and discounted parking.


"I liked the interaction with everyone. It made the class very interesting and is an easy way to learn some new skills."  —  Dennis Lindemann, Manager, ATI Ladish

"Loved Buck’s approach and style! I learned so many practical tips and ideas that I can certainly implement."  —  Micky Glaser, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Milwaukee, WI

Dates and locations to be announced.