FirstLine Supervision - Session 2 (Brainerd)

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FirstLine Supervision - Session 2 (Brainerd)

FirstLine Supervision - Session 2 (Brainerd)

Date: October 21-23, 2020
  • Day 1: Oct 21, 2020 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Day 2: Oct 22, 2020 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Day 3: Oct 23, 2020 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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MMUA's FirstLine Supervision program as we know it is coming to an end. We are working to get existing students through the program between now and end of October 2021. Because it will be impossible to complete the two-year program, new students will not be accepted. It is our hope to have a replacement program ready for new students in 2021.

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
  • 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, 3131 Fernbrook Lane North, Suite 200, Plymouth, MN 55447-5337; 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

1:00 PM — Addressing Emotions at Work
In today’s high-pressure work environment, emotions are bound to erupt. The challenges are to present them from building to the point where they inhibit rational and productive interactions, and to transform them from negative outbursts into positive opportunities for solving problems. An emotional outbreak is often a cue that a problem is affecting an employee’s ability to work effectively. When others are able to deal with the emotion and move the discussion forward, a solution is more likely to occur. This unit gives participants a process for handling the emotions in daily work situations. They learn to remain calm and objective, to recover quickly and to help others do the same, and to take charge in difficult circumstances to keep the discussion moving forward.

8:00 AM — Identifying Work Priorities and Setting Expectations
People do a better job when they are clear about exactly what their results should be and how these results should be achieved. Mismatched performance expectation can cause the serious and costly problems of wasted time, misused resources, and work that is not done or has to be redone. The Key Actions and planning questions taught in this unit will provide a focused approach for success when supervisors need to delegate assignments, change an employee’s job standards, or correct an employee’s misunderstandings about performance expectations.

1:00 PM — Correcting Performance Problems
Tips for taking prompt action to correct unproductive behavior show participants how to replace disciplinary action with a plan to get back on track.

8:00 AM — Offering Rewards and Recognition
With today’s flatter organizational structures, recognition (with peers, managers, and even those outside the organization) needs to be everyone’s job. This unit shows participants how to acknowledge accomplishments in meaningful, appropriate ways and how to use recognition as a powerful tool for building strong working relationships and for motivating 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 thirty 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.

Registration Fees

Members: $695
Non-Members: $845

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 October 2. There is a $30 per person cancellation fee if MMUA is notified by 4:30 pm on October 2.

Classes do fill so register early to save your spot!

Hotel Information

MMUA does not have any special room blocks with area hotels. 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.


Thank You, Annual Sponsors

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Hometown Connections Helps MMUA Members

Hometown Connections is an American Public Power Association subsidiary that provides products and services designed to help municipal utilities meet today's new and pressing industry challenges. MMUA is a Hometown Connections Affiliate.

For information on AMI, operations, cyber-security, business strategy, customer care, finance and workforce issues, click on the Hometown Connections logo!