Colors of Supervision - a practical workbook

Being a supervisor is a lot like planning the traffic flow but also being a part of that traffic flow. Using traffic lights and our instant understanding of red, yellow and green, this easy-to-read, practical and helpful workbook will assist you to learn the rules of the supervision road and how to make the traffic lights work well for you and the people who work with you.

The first time the ideas of colors came up in teaching supervisory skills was in 1985 when Arden Albino and I delivered the first of what was to become a very long series of "Introduction to Supervision" courses with staff at the University of British Columbia. Since then, that color framework has been used extensively with supervisors from a wide variety of organizations in North America and the United Kingdom.

In this second edition, we have added an index, changed some of the chapters around for a more logical order and updated the resources and bibliography. To get a flavor of the book and "Improve your skills in working with Others", you can:

Chapter Headings

  1. Qualities of effective supervisors
  2. Defining the rules of the road
  3. Paying attention to the traffic
  4. Types of drivers
  5. Back to basics - what are lights for ?
  6. How well is this job to be done ?
  7. Assumptions, perceptions
  8. Drawing the map - map reading
  9. Mind in gear before mouth in motion
  10. Intersections
  11. Difficult road conditions, crazy drivers
  12. Creating great driving conditions
  13. Defensive driving
  14. Traffic is moving smoothly
  15. Teaching someone else to drive as well as you
  16. Driving on the other side of the road, in a new car
  17. Full-colored supervisor - excellent driver

Resources - videos and other green lights.

To get a copy for yourself, please contact Jane


Colors of Supervision works well as part of a multi-day workshop for supervisors within the same organization. We prefer to separate the days so participants can spend some time reflecting and working in small groups on appropriate tasks. Contact Jane to help you design and deliver the workshop that best for you and your organization.