TSNE’s Effective Supervision Workshop

As many of you know, Third Sector New England is the non-profit organization that supports T4A’s human resources, financial planning, and administrative duties. We’ve been partnered with them for nearly 10 years! They’ve helped us grow in so many ways, including through workshops and events.

In honor of TSNE’s Effective Supervision Workshop held yesterday, we’d like to share a bit about what we’ve gained from attending (through the eyes of Sahar, our Program and Marketing Manager):

Could you tell me a bit about the workshop itself?

The Effective Supervision workshop was led by TSNE MissionWorks speakers Lyn Freundlich and Joanne Horgan, and featured a balance of presentation and activities, such as worksheets, workplace scenarios, and roleplay and observation. We learned about the ways we can interact with the employees we supervise, based on our own behaviors, openness in our work environment, and management styles, and the ways in which our employees want to be supervised. What was most surprising to me was the number of people who attended who weren’t part of TSNE MissionWorks or the Nonprofit Center. I think that just goes to show what kind of reach the organization has, and the kind of influence it’s had, and has the potential to have, on other organizations.

Most if not all of the core Tutors for All staff have attended the workshop in the past, and I was more than happy to join them!

What were some of the main takeaways from last years’ ES Workshop, and how have you been applying them in tutorial?

A lot of the main takeaways from the workshop were similar to the practices we already employ within the organization, which I’d think is in no small part due to the fact that our core staff has participated in it before. A weekly meeting with an agenda for each person you supervise was certainly something I noticed, and something I’ve participated in ever since I started working with T4A a few years ago. Needless to say, I think it’s something I’m starting to expect of other organizations and workplaces as well.

Still, I have to say I learned a lot about the different levels of supervision, depending on how much free rein your employee would prefer, and where I fall on that spectrum. It definitely made it easier for me to identify where the people I supervise (both tutors and associates/coordinators) fall as well, and gave me the tools I needed to adapt my supervision style accordingly. With a new tutor, for instance, I may watch very closely and give them every step on how to set up and lesson plan for the day; with an associate I’ve worked with for a long time, though, I may just give them an assignment I know they’re familiar with, and act as a sounding board or a facilitator throughout the process.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

My favorite part of the workshop was definitely the way the tables were set up; each table was covered in large drawing paper, and featured legos, pipe cleaners, markers, crayons, etc. Lyn and Joanne encouraged us to use them if we were the type of people who needed something to do with our hands (like craft or doodle) while we listened, which also discouraged us from using our phones for the entirety of the day. As someone who tends to fidget for a multitude of reasons, this was incredibly helpful for me, and I was actually more productive while doodling and playing with a fidget spinner than I would have been if I’d been expected to just sit there and watch Powerpoints all day.

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