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13 Don’ts for Supervisors

Throughout your professional life, you’ve encountered various supervisors and have observed both the qualities that contribute to effective supervision and those that detract from it.

Unfortunately, inexperienced and ineffective supervisors are not uncommon.

According to Gallup, only 10% of supervisors demonstrate the qualities of an effective leader.

A crucial aspect of being an effective supervisor is knowing what to do and what not to do.

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What NOT to do, to become an effective supervisor

What should a leader avoid being effective?

Here are 13 behaviors that you or your supervisory team should never engage in:

13 Don'ts of an effective supervisor - should NOT DO

Here are some things and behaviors that a supervisor should not do.

  1. Don’t Disclose Confidential Information: Protect three types of information: employee, management, and business.
  2. Don’t Exempt Friends or Family from Company Rules: Avoid favoritism based on personal relationships. It’s unethical.
  3. Don’t Let Ego Take Control: An inflated ego can diminish your effectiveness and the company’s success.
  4. Don’t Pretend to Know Everything: Acknowledge your limitations; a know-it-all attitude hinders effective supervision.
  5. Don’t Gossip: Discussing an employee’s behavior or performance with others is unprofessional.
  6. Don’t Let Personal Relationships Influence Your Judgments: Evaluate employees objectively and document any issues fairly.
  7. Don’t Excuse Poor Performance Due to Personal Issues: While empathy is important, it shouldn’t justify subpar performance.
  8. Don’t Offer Unsolicited Personal Advice: Unless your role specifically involves counseling, avoid diagnosing or advising on personal issues.
  9. Don’t Make Moral Judgments: Respect employees’ privacy and personal lives.
  10. Don’t Tolerate Dangerous Behavior: Ensure the workplace is safe from harassment and other harmful actions.
  11. Don’t Let Concern for an Employee Compromise Performance Management: Maintain professional boundaries.
  12. Don’t Abuse Your Authority: Delegate tasks fairly and provide necessary resources without overstepping.
  13. Don’t Disrespect Employees: Be mindful of your body language, tone, and language.
13 Don'ts of an effective supervisor - should NOT DO

Do NOT assume they know when things are obvious

Some of these points might seem obvious, yet even experienced supervisors can falter.

It’s beneficial for organizations to regularly review these guidelines.

Moreover, this list may not be exhaustive, and additional behaviors worth discussing could be identified.

Avoid assuming that these guidelines are universally understood.

This list is intended to aid in your development as an effective supervisor. In a future article, we will explore the actions an effective supervisor should take.

, yet even experienced supervisors can falter.

It’s beneficial for organizations to regularly review these guidelines.

Moreover, this list may not be exhaustive, and additional behaviors worth discussing could be identified.

Avoid assuming that these guidelines are universally understood.

This list is intended to aid in your development as an effective supervisor. In a future article, we will explore the actions an effective supervisor should take.

13 Don'ts of an effective supervisor - should NOT DO
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