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USGS Supervisory Challenge Class

Course Objective: To develop effective managers and supervisors within a leadership-centered culture.


Supervisors interested in taking Supervisory Challenge should register in DOI Talent. Enrollment requires management approval. You will be wait listed automatically by the system once your manager approves your request. You will be moved from the wait list to the attendee list on a space available basis when your supervisory status is confirmed.


Upcoming schedule:

In Denver, CO

March 11-15, 2024

May 13-17, 2024

September 9-13, 2024



Course tuition is $650. Payment of tuition is handled after class begins using an account number provided by each participant's Administrative Officer.



General attire for the Supervisory Challenge class is casual.


About the class:

The USGS offers an initial supervisory training course, USGS Supervisory Challenge, which meets the first phase of the DOI mandatory training requirement for new supervisors.

The target audience is new supervisors within their first year. Once assigned to a supervisory position, new supervisors and their manager receive a memo from their Human Resources Officer stating the new supervisor must successfully complete a one-year probationary period and/or complete mandatory supervisory training. The new supervisor is advised of the USGS Supervisory Challenge class and provided with logistical information regarding the class. Supervisory Challenge is delivered four times per year.

Supervisory Challenge participants will be able to:

Supervisory Challenge graphic
  • Acquire supervisory and leadership competencies to better manage their human resources;
  • Demonstrate a basic level of proficiency to build and maintain a competent, committed and productive workgroup;
  • Describe their rights and responsibilities as a supervisor;
  • Effectively guide supervisory functions, i.e., position management, staffing, employee development, employee engagement, conflict resolution, and equal employment opportunity;
  • Identify the rules, regulations and policies specific to the USGS and DOI that guide supervisory action and decision-making in regard to personnel management.

In addition, the course offers self-awareness assessments:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator instrument and knowledge of personality type are used by many organizations, large and small. An understanding of type can be used to support many different functions and situations including managing others, development of leadership skills, organizing tasks, creation and management of teams, training for management and staff, conflict resolution, motivation, executive coaching, diversity, recognition and rewards, and change management. It will be most helpful for supervisors to learn more about personality and the personality of others in order to understand them better. The MBTI assessment will provide feedback on your type and its impact. Participants of Supervisory Challenge will have the opportunity to take the MBTI assessment. Results from this assessment will be discussed during class. Participants are asked to complete the assessment prior to the first day of class following the directions provided in the Welcome Letter.

  • Thomas-Kilman Conflict Mode Indicator

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) has been used successfully for more than 30 years to help individuals in a variety of settings understand how different conflict styles affect personal and group dynamics. The TKI measures five conflict-handling modes, or ways of dealing with conflict: competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating.

Participants of Supervisory Challenge will also have the opportunity to take the TKI assessment. Results from this assessment will be discussed during class. Participants are asked to complete the assessment prior to the first day of class following the directions provided in the Welcome Letter.


Supervisory Mentoring:

Graduates of Supervisory Challenge have the opportunity to participate in mentoring—either with a partner or in a mentoring circle. Seasoned mentors, who have a good track record in supervising and managing others, are selected to serve as mentors to first-time supervisors. Participants are matched with a mentor who can help meet their personal and professional management goals and meet the challenges that face them as they manage others.

Acquiring the skills to be a good supervisor is not solely accomplished in a course. The Office of Employee Development can assist new and experienced supervisors as they seek further development of skills by offering counsel and options for additional internal and external training and development.


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