FirstLine Supervision - Session 3 (Brainerd)

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FirstLine Supervision - Session 3 (Brainerd)

FirstLine Supervision - Session 3 (Brainerd)

Date: February 6-8, 2019
  • Day 1: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day 2: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day 3: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Central Lakes College, 501 West College Drive, Brainerd, MN 56401 (go to door 6 of Business & Industry Center)
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Pricing: Members: $620 before Jan 24, 2019
Nonmembers: $770 before Jan 24, 2019
All fees increase $50 on or after Jan 24, 2019

MMUA continues to provide FirstLine Supervision, a performance-proven program designed around a solid core of interpersonal skills to provide the first line supervisor with leadership skills needed in today’s competitive market. Modules, unique to municipal utilities, have been developed and blended with selected modules from AchieveForum leadership programs to present a supervision program for MMUA members.

A Practical Approach

Today’s first line supervisors and managers experience increasing demands for higher performance. At the same time, they must master complex new rules that require collaboration, innovation, and quick solutions to sudden changes. FirstLine Supervision gives managers, supervisors, team leaders, and individual contributors the basic understanding and skills they need to interact with others in organizations where employee involvement is increasing.

This program includes the basics, yet goes beyond the traditional supervisory-management program. The format uses behavior modeling, which stresses realistic examples, discussion, practice, feedback and planning, with emphasis on the practice. It stresses working with people.

Management Support Important

Management support for program participants is critical. Staff from Central Lakes College is available upon request to meet or consult with the participant’s supervisor to coordinate skills developed by training with the on-the-job skill opportunities. Cooperation between the employer, the employee and the training institution ensures maximum results.

Everyone Wins

The payoffs are enormous for a supervisor who masters the skills in FirstLine Supervision.

For the supervisor, it includes the satisfaction of being involved in building stronger people, stronger teams, and stronger systems, all of which are needed in these challenging times. There is also the knowledge that they are making a major contribution to the organization while also growing both personally and professionally.

For employees who work for such a supervisor, the payoffs include being associated with a leader who is a builder. It means having greater opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution and to have pride in their work. It means developing in skills and confidence as a part of a winning team.

For the organization, the chance to build increasing strength in its people, its services and its systems has great payback over the long term. It means meeting strategic objectives that can help ensure economic survival.

Presentation and Materials

Class size is limited to provide maximum opportunity for participants to benefit from the instructor-led multi-media activities. Each participant receives a binder containing workbooks for each skill unit, including observation and planning forms.

The Program

The program includes seventeen (17) individual modules designed to be completed by attending four consecutive three-day sessions (1 full day + 2 half days). These sessions are offered twice each year over a two-year period. Because the modules need not be taken in sequence, a participant may stop or miss a session if an emergency prevents regular attendance, and re-enter when space in the program is available.

The first module, Building Trust Under Pressure: The Basic Principles is a pre-requisite for all other modules. This is scheduled prior to each session to allow new participants to begin the program at any session on a space available basis. Subsequent modules may be taken in any sequence so participants can start at any point in the rotation.

AchieveForum Modules

Fourteen modules, selected from AchieveForum leadership programs, provide the central theme:


  • Building Trust Under Pressure: The Basic Principles
  • Giving Needs–Based Feedback
  • Understanding Yourself and Others
  • Speaking to Influence Others
  • Addressing Emotions at Work
  • Offering Rewards and Recognition
  • Listening in a Hectic World


  • Identifying Work Priorities and Setting Expectations
  • Delegating for Shared Success
  • Correcting Performance Problems
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Activating Change
  • Generations in the Workplace: Leveraging Age Diversity
  • The Hallmarks of Supervisory Success

Unique Municipal Utility Modules

Three topics have been developed with special application to municipal utility operations:


  • Finance for Municipal Utilities
  • Customer Relations — Internal and External
  • Personnel Relations/Employment Law

The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association, under contract with the Custom Training Services of the Central Lakes College, has developed this program. All inquiries pertaining to registration, program and records should be directed to MMUA, 3025 Harbor Lane North, Suite 400, Plymouth, MN 55447-5142; phone 763.746.0707 or email

Registration fees are payable to MMUA. Registration fees include tuition, program materials (ring binder and workbooks) and refreshment breaks. Participant lodging and meals are not included.

Cost and Commitment

The total investment for development of the supervisor/manager includes releasing the employee for eight and one-half days of training over a two-year period, cost of travel and lodging with meals, plus registration fees. Maximum benefit to the utility will be realized with the interest and support of the participant’s supervisor.

Program Agenda

7:45 AM — Registration  (for NEW students only)
8:00 AM — Building Trust Under Pressure: The Basic Principles  (for NEW students only)
New challenges are constantly placing pressure on today’s leaders whether they have formal positions or are the “go to” person. Now more than ever, everyone in the organization needs a deep understanding of leadership principles and help in tailoring those principles to their own work realities.

1:00 PM — Delegating for Shared Success  (returning students start here)
Delegating tasks and projects is the link between supervisor, employee, and their shared success. Thoughtful delegation focuses employee capabilities and builds confidence, as well as respect for their supervisor. Supervisors who delegate effectively gain time for other key aspects of their role, such as planning and making process improvements.

8:00 AM — Understanding Yourself & Others—Personal Relations
In addition to the relationships the supervisor experiences with subordinates due to job descriptions and responsibilities, several personal relationships enter into successful and satisfying fulfillment of leadership positions. Such relationships may be job related: relations with the manager or board, relations with peers, relations with suppliers and/or purchasing personnel; or they may be family related or related to non-job stressful situations. The personal relationships have a definite and dramatic impact on productivity and employee morale.

1:00 PM — Finance for Municipal Utilities
This session stresses the importance of appropriate financial record keeping to managing the utility. Examples and discussion are aimed at developing an understanding and appreciation of such topics as the financial environment of a municipal utility, rates and charges, and budgeting and accounting tools. Students should bring a copy of the city and/or utility's audit report to follow.

8:00 AM — The Hallmarks of Supervisory Success
Effective supervision is the heart of strong business results. By having a positive impact on themselves, their employees, and their organization, supervisors can influence customer satisfaction and deliver concrete results. Rather than learning by trial and error, in this session, participants explore and apply three hallmarks of supervisory success to help them assume new responsibilities and improve their ability to supervise the work of others.

The Instructor

Eloise Thorson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Foods and Business and an MA in Organizational Leadership from the University of St. Catherine. She has twenty some years experience training in industry for the Central Lakes College. Her training experience has been with personnel in government agencies, healthcare facilities, manufacturing and service organizations.

Who Should Attend

  • A lead person whether they are a lineworker dealing with several people, or an administrative secretary, managing office procedures and policies.
  • This program is ideal for the newly promoted manager or supervisor. Supervising people that were once your friend and counterpart on the job will require a whole new set of skills and solid leadership training!
  • The experienced manager or supervisor. They need training just as much as the new manager or supervisor! Often times they never had any previous training and can use new insights and perspectives on the essentials of leadership skills.

Program Cost

The program fee provides instruction, refreshment breaks, and participant supplies, including binder and workbooks. Participants are responsible for all travel, meals and lodging expenses. Registration fee will increase $50 if received after January 23. There is a $30 per person cancellation fee.

Hotel Information

The Holiday Inn Express in Baxter has a standard two-queen room for $93 per night plus tax which includes Internet access and hot breakfast. Call the hotel direct at 218.824.3232 and ask for the government room rate.

For other options, we suggest an online search for a list of nearby hotels in the Brainerd area. There are many to choose from.


By registering for this event I/we authorize Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) to photograph me at this event and use such photographs in MMUA marketing materials (both electronic and print). I/we understand that I/we will not be paid for giving this consent.


Contact Rita Kelly by email or phone 763.746.0707.

A printable brochure is also available.


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Thank You, Annual Sponsors

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Video Captures 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo

We now have a 4-minute rodeo recap video of the 2016 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, live on the MMUA YouTube channel.  It features great footage and interviews with a number of key players in the event.  The April 2 event was hosted by Shakopee Public Utilities and MMUA, and brought together lineworkers from across the country. Watch this video and enjoy reliving that amazing day.  Be sure to bundle up before you click!