The ELAST course was designed to help develop the guidance and supervisory skills of people in leadership positions such as Foreman and lead hands. All organizations require people with these skills if they desire to be successful. The most important resource we have is our people and therefore it is essential that we spend the time and effort to ensure that they have the tools they require to be successful when given the opportunity to lead. This is a nine hour facilitated course which is exceptionally interactive that concentrates on providing the students with tools and advice that will help them build solid and effective teams within an organization. The course is broken down into four main topics; here is a brief description of each of them:
Fundamentals of Leadership outlines the values of a good leader (trustworthy, fair, decisive, supportive, etc.) and leadership styles. We discuss what an effective leader is and how to become one;
Due Diligence contains an in depth explanation of what Due diligence is, refusal to work (imminent danger), the competency triangle, hazard assessments and direct supervision. We will discuss incident prevention techniques such as monitoring, inspections, and the importance of correcting the small issues before they get out of control. These discussions are based on the importance of a leader’s ability to fully understand these principles so they are able to properly clarify them with their personnel;
Safe Working Environment stresses the importance of leaders setting the right example and not accepting inappropriate behaviour from their teams. We review employer and employee rights and responsibilities, the Canadian Human Rights Act, abuse of authority, sexual misconduct and the definition of harassment. Though short, this section is integral in developing an appropriate leadership style; and
Transfer of Learning is comprised of verbal, non-verbal (body language) and written communications and the importance of giving clear and concise direction. We offer effective writing tips including a helpful list of key words and phrases used to provide positive and negative feedback to employees. This section contains some role play to help reinforce information the students have received which helps give them confidence when dealing with difficult people.
One of the major points that we try to help them understand is the importance of owning the direction that they receive from their superiors. Once they have had the opportunity to discuss the way ahead with their manager, they must then pass this direction on to their group as if it were their idea. A supervisor who uses phrases like “I need you to…”, “My expectations are…” or “I want you…”, will be respected by not only their group, but also their boss. Supervisors lose credibility using phrases like “The client wants us to…”,” The safety officer wants us to…” and “The boss wants us to…”.
Enhancing Your Leadership and Supervision Toolbox will help students prepare for supervisory and leadership challenges they may encounter in the future. It will also allow them to develop the courage and the confidence not only to build a solid team environment, but also give them the tools to develop other leaders within the organization.