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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

This event is currently full. If you would like to be added to the wait list please send an email to Gini Ambrosino at [email protected]
April 14th, 2015 12:00 PM
May 11th, 2015 4:30 PM

Course Instructor: Sarah Flowers

  • Are you a new supervisor or lead?
  • Would you like to move into a supervisory position in a library?
  • Do you want to improve your ability to bring out the best in your employees?

Supervising others can be exciting and gratifying, but it can also be challenging. While it is great to watch the people you supervise grow and learn, and very satisfying to see your department succeed, it can also be difficult to watch others make mistakes or do things differently than you would. Being a good supervisor means leading other people, effectively communicating goals and objectives, and coaching and mentoring others to help them become the best they can be. However, most library supervisors start without any formal training in these important interpersonal skills.

This course will help you identify your own expectations of yourself and others, and give you practice in some of the interpersonal skills required for supervision: communication, mentoring, coaching, conflict resolution, mediation, feedback, and more.

Course Description: This four-week online course will provide you with basic information and resources on the most important interpersonal skills needed to be an effective supervisor. Through assignments and discussions, you will learn about personality and communication styles in the workplace and how a supervisor can use them to get the most out of his or her employees. We’ll talk about coaching and mentoring, and about how to give constructive feedback. During the course, you will be able to share experiences and questions in discussion forums and online meetings, and the instructor will provide you with resources that you can keep and refer to in your own library situation.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Transition to Supervision
    • Changes in your role and responsibilities when you become a supervisor
    • Being “on-stage”
    • Speaking for your organization
    • Supervising your former co-workers and the person who is in your former position
  • Week 2: We’re Not All the Same
    • Generations in the workplace
    • Cultural diversity in the workplace
    • Personality styles
    • Emotional intelligence
    • Communication styles
  • Week 3: People Are Your Most Important Resource
    • Caring for your employees and your own supervisor(s)
    • Mentoring
    • Coaching
    • Motivating
    • Helping other develop realistic, self-directed learning goals
    • Supervision in a unionized environment
  • Week 4: When Things Don’t Go Well
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Dealing with difficult behaviors
    • Mediating between employees
    • Difficult conversations
    • Constructive feedback
    • Helping employees deal positively with change

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: New supervisors and leads; library workers who want to be supervisors; supervisors who want to brush up their interpersonal skills.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: Personnel, Interpersonal skills, Leadership, Professional development, Supervision and Management