Groupwork Centre Blog

Why I love supervision

Text: What are some of the things we need to do or not do to make this go well? On inviting people to form agreements about their work together. Glen Ochre, Groupwork Institute Blue sky and top of tree background

Collaborating on what you want to achieve in supervision has immediate and long-term benefits

Here’s a beaut story from Andrea Curran-Bennett, a manager in the disability arena. This is her take on the challenges of leading others and (beware: plug for us ahead) why she likes our training in supervising skills:

“I stepped into a leadership role six years ago. Part of that was supporting and managing people; I knew I didn’t want to focus on the problems, blaming others by default and getting stuck.

My workplace was already doing supervision, but it felt fragmented, starting the process of review from scratch all the time. We needed to tie everything together better, get clearer in communicating our expectations.

I used to get really anxious about having difficult conversations. I wanted to take some of the emotions out of it, but it was … difficult! I’d end up thinking, ‘that didn’t go as well as it could have.”

So I was looking for additional tools to support me in managing others when I did Groupwork Institute’s training.

For me, having a clear supervision process has made leading a large team of people much easier.

In particular, it’s given us a really strong structure for performance review and feedback. It equips your toolbox to support staff and to have those difficult conversations.

If expectations aren’t being met, it’s easy to refer back to the supervision document with our mutually agreed expectations and say, “this is something we’ve noticed, what can we do about this?” 

The staff are involved in setting these expectations, and that in itself is a really useful task. 

Our monthly supervision process connects with performance reviews, linking key work areas and performance expectations – it’s become integrated into that whole annual cycle in our workplace.

What’s been huge is the cultural shift. It’s not just the 2-day training program you’re coming to – it’s an opportunity for cultural transformation. We look for opportunities to develop staff, working together with a strong element of respectful relationships in solution-focused collaboration.

I find that I’m using these tools every day.

A really important part of the whole program is to understand your own responses. It has applications beyond your professional life; it’s about your interactions with anybody, including clients or colleagues.

Anyone who has difficulties with staff in the workplace, I send them to you!”

Thanks, Andrea.

Please join us for Supervising Skills training if you’d like to develop a collaborative and productive review process with your staff.

Here’s to the transformational capacity of a collaborative culture.

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