Supervision and Performance Management Training Info

This two-day training is a balance between Groupwork Institute input and a focus on people’s particular supervision and performance management learning needs and challenges.

We work with you to ensure that our experiential training process meets the learning needs of your team.

Training Outline


Public short courses start at 9.30am and finish at 5.00pm.

Workplace training start times can be between 9.00am and 9.30am and finish times can be between 4.30 and 5.00pm, or as negotiated.

Day One

  • Welcome & introductions.
  • Purpose & aims of the two day workshop.
  • What do we hope to achieve through supervision?
  • Principles of effective performance management.
  •  The challenges – what makes supervision difficult?  Issues raised here will be addressed during the course of the training.
  • Supervision micro-skills.
  • Practising micro-skills.
  • Understanding ourselves and the role of the unconscious.
  • Evaluation of the day and how we are progressing.

Day Two

  • Reflection from previous day.
  • Introducing the GIA Super Vision™ model.
  • How to run a supervision meeting.
  • Nature and boundaries of the supervisor’s role.
  • Giving empowering ‘hearable’ feedback.
  • Practice and reflection based on the learning needs of participants (collected in day 1).
  • Implementation / action plan.
  • Reflection and lessons learned.
  • Evaluation.

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Training content – Supervision and Performance Management

Self-awareness at work

The more we understand our own inner ‘selves’ and their interplay, the better supervisors we will be. First supervise thyself! Come prepared to know (and accept) yourself better! This will entail:

  • mapping our own Community of Selves;
  • getting to know and working on the fears and other self-limiting messages that hold us back as supervisors; and
  • develop the emotional resilience to manage our own reactions when faced with challenging dynamics.

Essential principles of supervision

Supervision practice needs to have a strong, collaborative value base.  As supervisors we need to be clear about our approach. We will look at:

  • the central values and principles of supervision
  • the role of the supervisor
  • using our principles to plan with flexibility

Micro-skills for supervision

There are a range of micro-skills essential to good supervision. We say that effective supervision is 20% good process, and 80% good supervision skills. It is these micro-skills that bring performance management to life. Some of these skills will be familiar to you, some will be new. In this training, we will introduce a number of micro-skills. For example:

  • validating
  • normalising
  • noticing and naming
  • listening to understand
  • building on people’s experience
  • say more
  • helpful questions
  • catching people doing good
  • hearing and validating people’s contribution
  • synthesising and clarifying
  • dealing with un-named dynamics

Introduction to our Supervision process

Good quality supervision which builds on existing skills and encourages reflection, insight and learning helps the organisation to provide higher quality services. Once regular well-structured supervision is in place, time is saved across the organisation through increased clarity of roles and performance expectations, and more focused work priorities.

We look at:

  • setting clear key work areas and performance expectations through collaborative processes;
  • structures around the actual performance management meeting – agenda setting and skills in running effective sessions; and
  • introducing this collaborative model to staff.

Understanding your role in supervision

There are a number of roles we need to be able to step into as supervisor.  It is important that we are aware of these and remain conscious of which role we are operating from in any given supervision session.

These include:

  • learning facilitator
  • coach/mentor
  • teacher
  • manager
  • debriefer

Dealing with the challenging aspects of supervision

Most of us have fears and avoidance behaviour around all sorts of challenging encounters. As supervisors, such behaviour will reduce the effectiveness of our work. We need strategies to deal with our own, and other’s feelings and reactive behaviour.

This topic can include:

  • skills to intervene in dynamics you find particularly challenging
  • giving hearable feedback
  • understanding our responses to conflict or the expression of strong feeling
  • working with  ‘hot spots’ and ‘flat spots’
  • bringing out what might be going on beneath the surface, when this is getting in the way of people’s learning
  • challenging behaviour – domination, aggressive or needy behaviour, etc.
  • challenges to your supervision.

Self-care in supervision

Ensuring we are taking care of ourselves is an important underpinning for supervisors. This is incorporated into a personal action plan which is developed towards the end of day two.

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Our supervision principles

The Groupwork Institute is a values-based organisation. This is applied to our supervision training to guide our approach. From our values, we derive practical principles that can be readily applied to help navigate the many grey areas that supervisors encounter. These are our principles:

  • The best learning is learner directed
  • The key role for the supervisor is as ‘learning facilitator’ – the role of problem solver/fixer remains secondary.
  • At some level, we usually know where our difficulties and shortfalls are.
  • We respond best if we are facilitated to our own awareness and articulation of these issues.
  • We learn and change most effectively from our own insights.
  • Feedback and advice is received best when asked for.
  • We are all sensitive about criticisms of our work practice and are inclined to ‘take it personally’.
  • All feedback needs to be given within a supportive, assertive and clear framework.
  • Awareness of difference in rank is essential.
  • All performance management issues need to be named and dealt with transparently.
  • Performance management needs to be undertaken regularly and consistently and have the commitment of the whole organisation.
  • One supervision model that can be applied to all within an organisation will foster the most coherent relationship between organisational objectives and workforce performance.

Our capacity to do this work

Our commitment to high-quality performance management stems from three decades of work with organisations. We have worked as independent facilitators and educators – offering one-on-one, and group supervision (especially to managers) in a wide variety of settings. We draw from:

  • Our own model of collaborative practice which has evolved from our experience of offering management and facilitation services since 1984.
  • The unique units which we offer through our Diploma of Leadership and Management, which we have offered publicly and in-house since 2002. This is, in effect, a collaborative management course wrapped around the nationally recognised qualification. These units on collaborative management, which are contained within the Diploma of Leadership and Management, have been accepted by ASQA.
  • Our experience of offering training to managers publicly and within workplaces. We continually refine this work in response to participants’ feedback and integrating new material from the broad realm of management education.

Feedback from those who have done this training is extremely positive. People have been able to implement clear and consistent supervision practices, and address long-term unacceptable work practices with very pleasing results.

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