In the modern workplace, managing people has become a complex task. Many supervisors are promoted because of their excellent technical performance, but find that succeeding in this new role requires an entirely different set of skills. Greg Hefferan is a trusted store manager at local ice cream chain, Sebastian Joe's, but he didn't always realize the importance of adapting his leadership style to each individual.
This is a familiar challenge that many individuals and companies face, which is one reason why Normandale developed the Supervision/Management certificate. "The course helped us think about the fact that everyone has different communication styles, and if you are able to mirror or adapt to someone else's style you
can be more effective," said Hefferan. The series consists of four weekly half-day sessions taught by Julie Berg, who brings over 20 years of experience across a variety of
industries as a practitioner, consultant, and educator. Normandale Program Director, Jeff Hudson, notes that these courses have proven helpful to a wide variety of individuals and organizations. "There are many audiences that benefit, but I think it really helps first time supervisors or those who have been in a supervisory role
but never received guidance in making the transition," says Hudson.
Several companies have enrolled multiple employees in the certificate series. Berg believes this dynamic can enhance the learning experience. "We focus on having a core curriculum that addresses most of the needs of the class, but we can also be flexible," said Berg. "We have been able to adapt the subject matter to our population in the room. This allows us to customize the course and gives people a chance to learn from each other's experiences."
Tim Pellizer, co-owner of Sebastian Joe's, was searching for a course to provide supervisory skills for recently promoted managers. He thought the description of Normandale's program was perfect, and he decided to enroll three management team members in the certificate program. After meeting with the managers at the end
of the course, he believes he made the right choice.
"Experience has enriched all three of these guys' ability to manage people," said Pellizer. "Even if they had only taken a handful of ideas from this course, it would have been worthwhile, but they received far more than that." Hefferan added that the ability to interact with his coworkers both during and after class was important. "We learned a lot about asking questions to our staff to help involve them in the process. As we started to use some of the information in the workplace, we noticed we talked to our staff differently. The class is still fresh in my mind, and because of it I don't categorize people. I try to identify their style and adapt to it to communicate clearly with them," Hefferan said.
A similar story is told by John Saycocie, a Research and Design Engineering Manager at Smiths Medical, a leading global provider of medical devices. Due to an organizational change, many employees with a strong technical background also had to learn management skills. This past fall, he enrolled 12 of these people in the certificate series. "This course did a great job of creating a new understanding of personal styles, how to recognize them and ways to use that information to meet
each other's styles to foster teamwork," said Saycocie. "By sending a large group of employees from our company to these courses, we were able to improve performance through better coaching and collaboration."
Another individual who developed a newfound appreciation for leadership style is Debra Hurston, CEO/Executive Director of the Minnesota Chiropractic Association. After experiencing significant staff turnover, Hurston participated in the series to explore her potential role in the turnover and possible solutions. During the course, it became clear to her that understanding different personality types and motivations is critical to a manager's success. "Everyone thinks they are a good listener," said Hurston. "However, this program made me realize my attention might be in other places when I am interacting with the staff. Additionally, it emphasized the value of listening and the way you ask a question to generate desired responses. I would say this is a great course to take as early as possible in your management journey."
Contact Jeff Hudson to explore how the Supervision/Management Certificate program can bring these kinds of results to your organization. 952-358-8705, or firstname.lastname@example.org.