Q: Our production supervisor is “difficult” when he does his weekly walk-throughs. He has a bad attitude, never says anything positive and rarely asks us any questions about our jobs or what is going on in a particular area. No one wants to be around him when he is here. How can we tell him that we want to improve our production but his attitude is making it very hard?

A: Some supervisors are very task oriented and focused when they do their weekly production reviews. They may be stressed, busy or distracted by production problems in other units that are frustrating them.

Your best course of action is to be pleasant and willing to help any way that you can. Greet him when you see him, and ask if there is anything you can do for him. Listen closely if he talks to you and show respect. Ask questions and don’t get defensive about your production results. Be sure you are doing your job and be approachable. Do your part to make anyone’s visit to your unit an enjoyable experience.

Sometimes when a supervisor has to visit multiple units, he doesn’t get to develop camaraderie and may even be encouraged to avoid developing close relationships with the people that he monitors. He may have a hard time feeling like he belongs to a team.

If you think it might help your supervisor, you (or he) can send an e-mail to don@dontyler.com and I will forward a copy of a short paper that addresses the topic, “Doing Better Walk-Throughs.”

If you have questions for Dear Boss, send them to:

Don Tyler, P.O. Box 67, Stockwell, IN47983or e-mail to don@dontyler.com.

Your letter will remain confidential, and may or may not get an individual reply.