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Dear Workforce How Do We Train Engineers to Be Better Supervisors

I've been training a group of engineering supervisors to enhance their supervisory skills. We started with an assessment and moved on to individual feedback sessions. Now I want to wrap everything together with a retreat where each engineer begins to develop an individual work plan. Components of the retreat include characteristics of supervisory success, barriers to success, operating agreements, mission, vision and guiding principles, and aligning development plans with organizational goals. Since these are engineers, the program needs to appeal to their analytical thinking. What kinds of exercises and discussion prompts would work best?
July 8, 2006
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Dear Engineering:

Engineers are known to be analytical. They need documented proof that what you say is true. Getting them to buy into your thinking may seem difficult. At the same time, this is your ace in the hole. That's because if engineers are committed to something, there must be a reason, and it is usually backed with strong evidence.
To get engineers to endorse your concepts, give them what they need:
  • Furnish hard data and concrete examples to prove your points. Avoid generalizations or superlatives.
  • Provide a clear explanation of expected results.
  • Ask the hard questions: "If this is not going to work, why? What can we do to make it work? How would that occur?"
  • Provide feedback and measurable ways of demonstrating results. If something is important, it should be measured, described and documented.
SOURCE: Mark Olsen, Toolpack Consulting, Teaneck, New Jersey, July 12, 2005.
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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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Dear Workforce Newsletter
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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