How to Adopt a Positive and Solution-Focused Attitude as a Supervisor

It's another day at work. The machines hum, the members of your team bustle, and the air smells of industry. But beyond the noise and the hustle lies a secret weapon—one that can transform your role as a supervisor from mundane to meaningful. It’s not a fancy gadget or a management buzzword; it’s your attitude.


As a CareFull Supervisor, you don’t merely oversee processes; you shape the very fabric of your team’s experience. Attitude isn’t a fleeting emotion; it’s a powerful lens through which you view the world. Let’s dissect this essential aspect of leadership.


The Power of Attitude

Employees are hired for their aptitude and fired for their attitude. Most of whatever attitude an employee carries is a learned behavior. That includes the attitudes of the supervisors who have come before you and left their mark.

As a CareFull Supervisor, you understand that attitude isn’t just a mood; it’s a lens through which you view the world. Let’s break it down:

Positive Outlook: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Imagine stepping into a safety audit with anticipation, not dread. Instead of ticking boxes, you see an opportunity—a chance to fine-tune processes, enhance safety, and elevate team performance.

When you expect positive outcomes, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your team senses this optimism; they follow suit. It’s contagious—the belief that challenges are stepping stones, not stumbling blocks.

Solution Focus: The Detective’s Mindset

Challenges are inevitable; they’re the spice of leadership. But here’s the twist: instead of dwelling on problems, shift your gaze to solutions. When a machine malfunctions, don’t curse the heavens; troubleshoot. Dive into the intricacies, connect the dots, and crack the case.

Solution-focused supervisors are like detectives—they hunt for clues, explore alternatives, and navigate complexity. When a team member struggles, don’t blame; mentor. Ask questions, listen actively, and guide them toward growth. It’s not about fault-finding; it’s about fostering progress.


Practical Strategies for Attitude Mastery

Morning Rituals: Start your day with intention. Before the chaos descends, take a few minutes to ask yourself this question: Who, on my team, needs my help most of all today? Then make a plan to go give them the help they need. You will eventually start running out of things to help them with. That's a positive, by the way.

End-of-day Gratitude: At the end of your day, identify the person/thing/event that you noticed that you are grateful happened today. Then, craft a one or two-sentence email or text message and send it to the person on your team who was responsible for it. Don't leave work until you do this. Think about how you will change the conversation at their dinner table tonight. Gratitude rewires your brain; it’s like hitting the reset button on negativity.

The “What If” Game: When faced with a challenge, play the “What If” game. Instead of “What if this goes wrong?” ask, “What if this goes right?” Your brain loves possibilities; feed it the good ones. Invite your team to play "What if this goes right." It will focus the team to start planning for success rather than trying to avoid failure.


Takeaways for Frontline Supervisors:

  1. Attitude Audit: Regularly assess your attitude. Are you a “glass half full” or a “glass cracked” kind of supervisor? Adjust as needed.
  2. Solution Sprint: When a problem arises, sprint toward solutions. Gather your team, brainstorm ideas, and collaborate. Remember, you’re not alone; you have a crew of problem-solvers.
  3. Positivity Contagion: Infect your team with positivity. Share wins, celebrate progress, and acknowledge effort. Attitude is contagious; be the carrier of optimism.

Remember, your attitude isn’t just a personal choice; it’s a leadership tool. Use it wisely, and watch your team thrive.

Kevin Burns, a seasoned business educator, unveils The CareFull Supervisor approach—a game-changer for anyone in a leadership role. His insights empower supervisors to lead with confidence, care, and impact. As you embark on this journey, remember: every team member counts.

Topics: supervisor leadership, the carefull supervisor, positive supervisor