1-3-13-2-Supervisory Skills

1-3-13-Supervisory Skills

Read Luke 2:41-52

According to God’s law, every male was required to go Jerusalem three times a year for the great festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16).  In the spring, the Passover was celebrated, followed immediately by the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Passover commemorated the night of the Jews’ escape from Egypt when God had killed the Egyptian first born but had passed over Israelite homes (see Exodus 12:21-36).  Passover was the most important of the three annual festivals.

At age 12, Jesus was considered almost an adult and so he didn’t spend a lot of time with his parents during the feast.  Those who attended these feasts often traveled in caravans for protection from robbers along the Palestine roads.  It  was customary for the women and children to travel at the front of the caravan, with the men bringing up the rear.  A 12-year old boy conceivably could have been in either group, and both Mary and Joseph assumed Jesus was with the other one.  But when the caravan left Jerusalem, Jesus stayed behind, absorbed in his discussion with the religious leaders.

The temple courts were famous throughout Judea as a place of learning.  The apostle Paul studied in Jerusalem, perhaps in the temple courts, under Gamaliel, the greatest rabbis of the land would assemble to teach and to discuss great truths among themselves.  The coming Messiah would no doubt have been a popular discussion topic, for everyone was expecting him soon.  Jesus would have been eager to listen and to ask probing questions.  It was not his youth, but the depth of his wisdom, that astounded these teachers.

Mary had to let go of her child and let him become a man, God’s Son, the Messiah.  Fearful that she hadn’t been careful enough with this God-given child, she searched frantically for him.  But she was looking for a boy, not the young man who was in the temple astounding the religious leaders with his questions.  It is both sweet and painful to see our children as adults, our students as teachers, our subordinates as managers, our inspirations as institutions.  But when the time comes to step back and let go, we must do so in spite of the hurt.  Then our protégés can exercise their wings, take of light, and soar to the heights God intended for them.

This is the first mention of Jesus’ awareness that he was God’s Son.  But even though he knew his real Father, he did not reject his earthly parents.  He went back to Nazareth with them and lived under their authority for another 18 years.  God’s people do not despise human relationships or family responsibilities.  If the Son of God obeyed his human parents, how much more should we honor our family members!  Don’t use commitment to God’s work to justify neglecting your family.

Jesus’ parents didn’t understand what he meant about his Father’s house.  They didn’t realize he was making a distinction between his earthly father and his heavenly Father.  Jesus knew that he had a unique relationship with God.  Although Mary and Joseph knew he was God’s Son, they didn’t understand what his mission would involve.  Beside, they had to raise him, along with his brothers and sisters (Matthew 13:55, 56), as a normal child.  They knew he was unique, but they did not know what was going on in his mind.

The Bible does not record any events of the next 18 years of Jesus’ life, but Jesus undoubtedly was learning and maturing.  As the oldest in a large family, he assisted Joseph in his carpentry shop.  Joseph may have died during this time,  leaving Jesus to provide for the family.  The normal routines of daily life gave Jesus a solid understanding of the Judean people.

The second chapter of Luke shows us that although Jesus was unique, he had a normal childhood and adolescence.  In terms of development, he went through the same progression we do.  He grew physically and mentally, he related to other people, and he was loved by God.  A full human is not unbalanced.  It was important to Jesus-and it should be important to all believers-to develop fully and harmoniously in each of these key areas: physical, mental, social, and spiritual.

What was the significance of this feast; which was an annual tradition with Jesus’ parents (see Ex. 23:15; Dt. 16:1-6)?

Make a list of Jesus’ character traits revealed in this passage.  What do they tell us about the kind of child Jesus was?

How much does he seem to know about his mission?  How much do his parents know?

Why do you think Luke included this episode of Jesus’ life?

In balancing hunger for God with your daily responsibilities, do you err more on the side of neglecting God or the other concerns?  Why?  What would a proper balance look like for you?

Supervisory Skills

Interpersonal Communication

Effective interpersonal communication contributes to better performance in two ways.  First, almost every thing a supervisor/manager does-giving orders, getting advice, meeting with peers, and so on-involves face-to-face communicating, and unless he or she can communicate effectively-make himself understood and understand his subordinates-the manager’s performance (and that of his subordinates is bound to suffer.  Second, and, related to this, communicating is vital to our “ABCs” of performance.  For example, when goals are set and expectations clarified between boss and subordinate, it is often during interpersonal, face-to-face meetings.  Similarly, when the boss evaluates subordinates and provides them with feedback (be it praise, rewards, or discipline), it is done very often in face-to-face meetings.  Being able to communicate effectively is therefore an important supervisory skill; so in this lesson we focus on four topics that all rely on interpersonal communication: interviewing people, evaluating staff, and then coaching/training and disciplining them.

Improving Interviewing Skills

Almost every manager makes extensive use of interviews.  And the interview also gives you a good opportunity to provide people with information and a realistic preview.

Basics of Interviewing

Interviews can be either directed or non-directed.  In the direct interview, you use a form to guide the conversation.  It asks “standard” questions like “are you employed now?”

The basic idea behind the non-directed interview is to get the candidate to talk freely.  One good way to do this is by restating or repeating his or her key phrases, For example, if the candidate says “I really enjoyed that job,” you might say “you really enjoyed that job?”  This will probably get the person to elaborate on why he or she liked the job, and is usually more effective than asking a direct question like “why did you like that job?

How to Hold Better Interviews

First, make sure you know the objective (e.g. job), and what sorts of skills and abilities it actually entails.  Make sure you consider all relevant information from the interviewee and try to form a balanced impression of the person.  Also, try to go into the interview with an open mind-some suggest not looking at the person’s application blank before the interview, but instead using the interview to form an independent judgment.

Interview Form

Rating: 1, __2, __3, __4, __  Comments:________________

In making final rating, be sure to consider not only what the individual can do but also his/her stability, industry, perseverance, loyalty, ability to get a long with others, self reliance, leadership, maturity, motivation, and domestic situation and health.

Interviewer: ____________  Reason for Interview: _______

Name: _________________  Phone No: ________________

Address: _______________  City: _____________________

State: _________________  Zip: ______________________

How long there? ________  Are you active in the community? ____, Type: _____________________________

What kind of a car do your own? ______ Condition? ______

Will he/she be able to use the car if necessary? __________

Are you involved now? ___ What is present relationship?___

Why are you taking action now? _______________________

Is there a underlying reason, a desire for prestige, etc:


Last or Present situation? ___________________________

How was situation started: __________________________

What else do you know? _____________________________

Nature of situation: _________________________________

Income? __________________________________________

Was there self reliance? _____________________________

Will previous experiences be helpful? __________________

In what way has the situation changed? ________________

Has there been any progress? ________________________

Nature of situation at leaving? _______________________

How much responsibility has been shown? _____________

Any indication of desire for improvement? _____________

What is Leader like? ________________________________

Did they get along? _________________________________

How closely was there supervision? ___________________

What authority do (or did) you have? __________________

Number of people they supervised? ____________________

What did they do? __________________________________

Is the individual a leader? ____________________________

Are they responsible for policy formulation? ____________

Have they had management responsibility? _____________

To what extent have they used initiative and judgment?___

Do they actively seek responsibility? ____________________

Appraising Performance

Once a individual has been interviewed, and is implementing some plan (e.g. job,), his or her performance often has to be appraised, and so this is the next interpersonal activity we focus on Performance Appraisal is a cornerstone of an effective reward system.  Ideally, a person’s rewards should be tied to his performance, and to do this, you have to appraise that person’s performance fairly, and effectively.

Methods for Appraising Performance

1.  Graphic Rating Scales:

are probably the most widely used performance appraisal tools, are probably the most widely used performance appraisal tools, because they are relatively easy to develop and use.  You rate your subordinates by circling or checking the score that best describes his/her level of performance for each trait.  The circled values for each trait are then added up and totaled.

Graphic Rating Scale

Name: _____________ Rater: ________________ Date: _________

Unsatisfactory (definitly inadequate) Fair (Minimal) Good (Basic Req.) Superior (Above Norm) Exceptional (Consistently)
Need for ad- vice direc- tion or cor- rection

Reviewed by: ___________________________________________________

Employee comment: _____________________________________________

Date: ____________  Signature: ________________________

2.  Rating-Ranking Scale

Consider all those on your list in terms of their (quality).  Cross out the names of any you cannot rate on this area.  Put name in Column 1, below, on the first line, numbered 1.  Cross out his name on your list.  Consult the list again and pick out the person having least of this area.  Put his name at the bottom of Column 2, on the line numbered 20.  Cross out his name.  Now, from the remaining names on your list, select the one having most of the area.  Put their name in the first column on line 2.  Keep up the process using up the names.

Area: _______________________________________________________

Most Least
1. 11.
2. 12.
3. 13.
4. 14.
5. 15.
6. 16.
7. 17.
8. 18.
9. 19.
10: 20.

3.  Forced Distribution Method

“Grading on a curve,” predetermined, percentages of rates are placed in various performance categories.  One practical way of doing this is to write each person’s name on a separate index card.  Then, for each trait being appraised (quality of work, creativity, etc.)  Then, for each trait being appraised (quality of work, creativity, etc.) you place the person’s card in one of the appropriate categories.

4.  Critical Incident Method

Here you keep, for each subordinate, a running record of uncommonly good or undesirable incidents.  Then every six months or so, you and your subordinate sit down and discuss his or her performance based on these specific incidents.

Problems to Avoid When Appraising Performance

One your subordinates find out that the appraisal system is unfair, the performance-appraisal-reward link will be broken, and performance will likely suffer.

1.  The Clarity of Standards Problems

It is important that you obtain consensus among your supervisors regarding the meanings of traits and degrees in the rating form.

2.  The Halo Effect Problem

The appraiser assigns the same rating to all traits regardless of a person’s actual performance on these traits.  The problem often occurs with people who are especially friendly (or unfriendly) toward the supervisor.

3.  The Central Tendency Problem.

Most people have a central tendency when filling in questionnaires or rating scales.  For example,  if the scale ranges from one through seven, many people will tend to a void the highs (six and seven) and lows (one and two) and put most of their checkmarks between three and five.

The ranking tools we discussed are aimed at avoiding this central tendency problem, since ranking your people prevents you from rating them all “average.”

4.  The leniency or Strictness Problem.

Some supervisors tend to rate all their subordinates consistently high (or low).

5.  The Problem of Bias

The problem of how the employee’s sex or race affects the rating he or she obtains: One reason this problem is more difficult to deal with is that the bias is sometimes for and some times against the person being rated.  At present there is no easy way to predict just what effect this bias problem may have on an appraisal.  About the best one can do is be on guard against being  a “biased” appraiser.

Avoiding the Appraisal Problems

Providing clear instructions and training can help to minimize or eliminate problems like the halo effect.  You can minimize many of the problems by choosing the right appraisal tool.

Communication and Coaching/Training

Interpersonal Communicational Problems

While most people here what the person they are speaking to is saying, much of it doesn’t “register,” because the listener is busy trying to formulate an answer, or because his mind is wandering or because he simply is not working hard enough to figure out the actual meaning and feelings behind the speaker’s words.  Other people make the mistake of trying to make their point through arguing or by cajoling  or prodding.

Criticizing is another barrier to effective interpersonal communication, one that is almost guaranteed to have an adverse effect on the speaker.  Another common mistake is to attack the other person’s defenses, for example, by saying that “you are just denying fault because you are insecure.”

Guidelines For Improving Interpersonal Communication and Training

1.  Avoid Making Your Subordinates Defensive

When you attack subordinates (through criticizing, arguing, or giving advice), it is natural for them to try to defend themselves: they might do this by denying they are at fault, by getting angry, or by retreating into a shell.

a.  Recognize that defensive behavior is normal.

b.  Never attack a person’s defenses. (try to concentrate on the act itself rather than the person.

c.  Postpone action (Sometimes the best thing to do os nothing at all).

2.  Be an active listener

a.  First, listen for total meaning.  Most messages have two components: the content and the feeling.

b.  Second, reflect feelings.  Respond to the speaker’s statements by restating or reflecting the underlying attitudes or feelings.  Try to help your subordinate get a more objective view of his or her feelings by restating them.

c.  Third, note all cues.  Remember that not all communication is verbal.  Make sure you’re aware of all cues-including facial expressions, the inflections of his or her voice, etc.

d.  Fourth don’t act as a “judge.”  Remember that the important thing is not selling your own ideas, but bringing about a constructive change.  Passing judgments and giving advice usually just results in defensive behavior.

3.  Do not Criticize.

Criticisms is a negative consequence-a form of punishment-and while it  may help diminish unwanted behavior, it is of little use in eliciting the desired behavior.

4.  Counsel on a Day-to-Day Basis.

It is important to avoid “critical broadsides” and to give reinforcement immediately.

5.  Use Critical Incidents

Go into the appraisal conference with concrete critical incidents – specific examples of effective and ineffective behavior.

6.  Agree on Standards for Improvement

Facilitate improvement by jointly setting specific targets that your subordinate can shoot for.  Related to this jointly set up a timetable with some intermediate goals.

7.  Get the trainee to talk.

To get your trainee to analyze their own  attitudes and change its importance that their- rather than you-do most of the talking.  One way to do this is with reflective summaries.  Here you reflect back to the person his attitudes and feelings; this will usually encourage the person to elaborate on his ideas.  Another technique is to repeat the person’s key words or phrases, perhaps as questions.  Avoid “turning off” the trainee.

8.  Do not Try to be an Expert.

Concentrate on actively listening, mutually setting goals, and reviewing achievements.

Disciplining Trainees/Staff

Disciplining also leans heavily on the leader’s interpersonal skills.

Prerequisites to Discipline

1.  Communicated Rules and Regulations

The purpose of rules and regulations is to inform staff ahead of time as to what is and is not acceptable behavior, (usually in writing) what is not permitted.  This is typically done during the orientation and the rules are also listed in the orientation booklet.

2.  A system of Progressive Penalties

The severity of the penalty is equally a function of the type of offense and the number of times the offense has occurred.

3.  An Appeals Process

This helps to ensure that discipline is meted out fairly and equitably.

Guideline for Effective Disciplining

Disciplining is one of the only forms of punishment most organizational experts would sanction.  But since it is a form of punishment, it is important to have safeguards against its misuse.

1.  Do not Rob your trainee of His or Her Dignity – (discipline in private – Attack the act, not the person).
2.  The burden of Proof is on You.

The burden of proof is always on the manager to prove that a rule or regulation and that you can back this up with positive evidence.

3.  Get the facts.

Do not base your decision on hearsay evidence, or on your “general impression.”

4.Do Not Act While Angry.

A good idea to “cool off” a bit before disciplining trainees.

5.  Provide Adequate Warning
6.  Do not Make the Punishment Too Severe
7.  Make Sure the Discipline is Equitable
8.  Get the Other Side of the Story.

It is a good idea to always let your trainee fully explain what happened and why it happened.

9.  Do Not Back Down When You Are Right.

In most cases “being soft” is not viewed as a virtue.  Instead trainees either assume that the rule itself is frivolous, or that the rules and penalties are being applied inconsistently.

10.  Do Not Let Disciplining Become Personal

Mistrust your motives-Do not harbor a grudge.


  1. Discuss the pros and cons of at least four performance appraisal tools.

  2. Develop a graphic rating scale for the job of secretary?

  3. Explain how you would use: the alternation-ranking method.

  4. Write a short presentation entitled “How to be Effective as an Interviewee.”

  5. Explain why disciplining might not be recommended for bringing about some desired change in behavior.


BIO:John Wilbur Chapman

Presbyterian evangelist. John W. Chapman was born in Indiana
and educated at Oberlin College and Lane Seminary. He re-
ceived the LL.D. from Heidelberg University. He held pastor-
ates in Ohio, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He con-
ducted evangelistic campaigns in Canada, Hawaii, the Fiji Is-
lands, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Japan, Tas-
mania, and the Philippine Islands.
Chapman became the director of the Winona Lake Bible
Conference and helped set up conferences at Stonybrooke, Long
Island, and Montreat, North Carolina. He was made executive
secretary of the Presbyterian General Assembly in 1903. He
won thousands of souls to Jesus Christ and influenced hun-
dreds of young men to enter the ministry. He was “cultured,
earnest, enthusiastic, and sane.” In his preaching and manner
of life, he was never coarse or thoughtless. His preaching
was calm, but forceful; emotional, but not dramatic.


About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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