If there's anything that everyone everywhere can agree on, it's this: Jon Gould, who has graced the Children's Alliance for ten years now with his even-keeled presence, is one hell of a guy. Real Change awarded him our annual Change Agent award this year for "visionary organizing and exceptional effectiveness," and this description barely begins to do the man justice. Am I gushing? Who cares? Though he would never admit this, the man channels everything that's good in the universe.
Last night, I was talking to my friend Ruth, who works with Jon. She's becoming a new supervisor, and they had a coffee meeting to talk about how it's done. She showed me her notes. They arrived at four basic points. Actually, Jon offered just three, and when Ruth offered the fourth, he affirmed her contribution.
So, here's Jon Gould's Guide to Employee Supervision, as told to my friend Ruth, as heard by me. I'm sure that more was said, but here's the gist:
Be Interested in People: This was the first thing he said. Ask after their welfare. Find out what they care about. Actually listen to what they say. Let them know they matter.
Ask Questions: Don't just tell them what to do. Ask them what they'd do. Help them grow. Understand what they're thinking and how they approach problem solving. Build leadership.
Get Organized: Have a file. Document as appropriate. Get the schedule of meetings and reviews into your calendar. Know the personnel policies. Be systematic about reviewing relevant materials.
Follow Through: Do what you say. Have check-ins. Refer back to goals and mark progress. Build on previous work.
So there you have it. Like most things, when you get to the core, it's simple
— Photo by Katia Roberts.