Emerge and Spread Your Wings

10 Tips For Supervising Others

Whether you are in the role of supervisor, or have responsibilities for managing staff, here are some ideas to bear in mind for successful outcomes.

  1. Establish an agreement – initially, and for each session. This might not always be written, but it is important you both start on the same page. You both need to feel you have made your time count, and gained an outcome you are satisfied with. That outcome does not come from a waffly chat.
  2. Keep the Client in the Room – figuratively speaking, I mean. Supervision focusses on the relationship between the therapist/staff member, the service/business, and the client/customer/patient. Ultimately the purpose is to support the supervisee’s performance, understanding, skill aquisition, reflection, job satisfaction in order to provide the best service to the client.
  3. Soften your Focus – by softening your gaze, so to speak, you allow yourself to open to the supervisee in a less judgmental way, and absorb some of the contextual cues, and unsaid comments.
  4. You don’t have to be the Expert – you are allowed to be human, to not have all the answers. At it’s best supervision is a collaborative process where both parties learn from each other. Remember your supervisee might need reminding that he/she is the expert in their own learning.
  5. Remind about past success – You can ask “When have you experienced a similar situation to this? What did you do? What worked/ didn’t work?”
  6. Point out Strengths as well as weaknesses, and help the supervisee use those strengths in their work.
  7. Make it regular – supervision has value in prevention of crises – frequent supervision allows for situations to be analysed and reflected on, which is not possible in the midst of crisis. It is a commitment to ongoing growth and being proactive in your learning.
  8. Fall back to Common Ground – Professional Codes of Ethics, company policies and procedures, mission statements provide a neutral lens which can aid unbiased reflection.
  9. Respect/Honour/Dignity – acknowledge the whole person and what they bring to their role.
  10. Review – you may not always and forever be the best supervisor for this person. Make a point of regularly reviewing to check they are still benefiting from the relationship.