Most first-generation Hispanic supervisors have been promoted to their position because they’ve worked for their organization for a number of years and because they’ve attained a respectable knowledge of their company’s products and services. When they become supervisors, they suddenly have the immense responsibility of managing a team. But since many have never been exposed to a leadership training program, they find their new position challenges them in ways they never expected. They lack the necessary people skills to help them deal with challenging team members, building trust and establish a culture of open communication. As a result, the supervisors may resort to aggressive behaviors, lack of respect issues, harassment and micromanaging their team members.

As you can see from this photo, the supervisors are happy because they’ve achieved a significant stage in their leadership development skills. After working intensively through self-introspection, questioning their own management and communication styles and undergoing challenging skills exercises they learned some fundamental truths about successful leadership.

They learned that responding to employees’ negative behavior through effective and constructive feedback is much more effective than automatic gut reactions. They learned that anger is counterproductive and makes a bad situation even worse. Most of all, they learned that establishing a workplace culture that encourages each team member to be accountable for his or her behaviors is one of the most powerful and creative methods of establishing a high-performance work environment.

At the conclusion of each leadership session, it’s heartwarming to experience the supervisors’ willingness to commit to behavioral changes in themselves and the impact they have on each team member’s growth and development.