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Leadership and Supervising Influence in Human Services Essay

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2020


Leadership is the ability to steer people toward achieving goals. Leadership is a strategic position, and according to advanced leadership models, leaders can perform different roles. Leaders can perform the functions of management, mediation and even mentorship roles.

These roles are clearly visible when leaders are managing programs or projects in the organization. Supervisory and leadership are critical in building healthy working relationships (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).

Roles of Leadership Model

The manager quality in leadership is particularly valuable. A leader is required posses administrative skills. Implementation of programs, like human service programs involve the allocation of resources. These resources have to be well employed and utilized in meeting the goals or objectives of programs.

Therefore, as a manager, a leader must know how to deploy resources and organize work so that the goals are attained at the end of the program. As a mediator, a leader should have the ability to moderate work by listening to differing proposals and opinions, and crafting a lee way of working.

Leaders should know how to broker mutual agreements between opposing forces in the team. As a mentor, the leader has to be exemplary to the team. He has to show that he or she is committed to the course or program. He must encourage the team and ensure that they remain focused (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).

Elements of the supervisory process

Supervision is a process, and its elements are brought out in the model which was developed by Schulman. These elements are in phases. The first phase, which is the preliminary phase, comes before the supervisor is assigned to a specific. In this phase, the feelings, personal fears and emotions of employees are assessed. It is followed by the beginning phase.

The role of the supervisor is clarified. The supervisor is given direction and approach of facilitation. The ideas of the team are listened to by the supervisor so as to come up with a proper framework on which to work with the team in accomplishing the set goals.

There is also the middle phase, where facilitation takes place. A number of skills are employed here; for instance, skills of problem solving so that common grounds can be reached with the entire team. Lastly, is the transition phase. This may entail the assignment of a new task, promotion or even resignation of the supervisor (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).

Supervisory Challenges

An employee may be promoted from his position to a supervisor. This takes time, and it is transitional. This requires highly developed skills as well as knowledge. Also, this calls for greater exercise of authority and responsibility. As the employee assumes the supervisory role, he or she will need to shift and focus on assessment and evaluation of employees.

The first hurdle will be in choosing the most favorable leadership style to use. Maintaining a balance between the employees and the clients is another hard task to enforce and which must be enforced (Lewis, Thomas & Lewis, 2007). The supervisor must motivate the employees.

The supervisor must strike a balance between the extrinsic and intrinsic reward systems. Winning the attention of staffs through rewarding is a complicated issue all together yet if well enforced, the output of staffs will often grow.

The problem of low performance of employees must be addressed by the supervisor. Reprimand and disciplinary procedures have to be used. The supervisor must ensure that he has exploited all channels of improving the outcome of underperforming employees before reprimanding and using other disciplinary options (Lewis, Thomas & Lewis, 2007).

Influencing factors

Job design is vital in attaining quality at the work and output of employees. It involves integrating various roles to be done employees to accomplish the organizational mission. A systematic process is used in specifying the duties to be performed at each position.

The natures of jobs to be performed are described by the job design. Hiring consists of selecting people, who are best qualified. Skills, education, past employment and experience are key considerations in the recruitment process. The employer must evaluate the job applicants, and even link their experience and skills to the organizational mission and objectives (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).

Training follows recruitment. This deals with the provision of information to employees concerning the programs of the organization. In addition, the services and products of the organization are described during training.

It also enhances the knowledge level of the new staffs, which in turn enhances resilience to organizational problems. The delivery of service is enhanced by training. The manner in which the employees are managed will be the determinant factor of their achievement (Lewis, Packard & Lewis, 2007).

Challenges of Managing Team Members

The management of individuals and groups in a firm entails the use of effective communication. The challenges commonly experienced in supervision of employees are stress related to ineffective management, training problems, which results in low quality work and results and lack of intensive motivation from the supervisors.

Others are low level of supervisor education and incompetent supervisors – in leadership skills and professionalism (Austin & Hopkins, 2004).


Leaders play several roles, among them management, mediatory and mentorship. These roles are essential in human service organization. Training of supervisors is also crucial. It aids in smoothening the supervisory process. Problems are inherent in the supervisory process hence supervisors have to take time to learn them and address them effectively.


Austin, M. J., & Hopkins, K. M. (2004). Supervision as collaboration in the human services: Building a learning culture. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.

Lewis, J. A., Packard, T., & Lewis, M. D. (2007). Developing and Managing Human Resources (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning. – Cengage.

Lewis, J.A., Thomas, T.R., & Lewis, M. D. (2007). Management of human service programs.- Wadsworth: Cengage.

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