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Supervision demystified

Without a doubt, the question I hear most often is “what is Supervision”?

In actual fact, it took a long time to be able to communicate my definition concisely, simply because there are so many facets that make up the Supervision process.  

If you are one of those people that have a quiet curiosity about Supervision and how it could help you in your professional life, let me see if I can demystify it for you.

What is Supervision?

Supervision is an ongoing, confidential space for you to reflect upon your professional environment and how you interact within it. Supervision is primarily a reflective practice that helps provides you with clarity and confidence to move forward.  Often offering you a wider and/or different perspective supervision can sometimes challenge assumptions you may have made.  Together we also tend to discover your underlying bias and any self-imposed barriers that come up for you. “Supervision is designed to support you, without judgment, with a quiet persistence that invites you to explore deeper”. 

Together we ensure you thrive in your work environment, with your co-workers and personally.  

What is discussed in Supervision?

You set the agenda in Supervision meaning that you come along with what you want to discuss and work on.  Some typical issues raised would include;

Ethical or professional dilemmas – Something that’s happened at work either at an organisational level or perhaps with another co-worker or customer.  Supervision provides you with an opportunity to pull it apart, look at it from all sorts of different angles, and then decide what you want to do about it.  I often say that if you are still thinking about a ‘thing’ 30 mins after leaving work, that’s a good thing to bring to Supervision. 

Professional development – Supervision provides the opportunity to explore your current competencies along with any barriers (either external or self-imposed) that could be inhabiting your professional performance. 

Supportive function – Unfortunately, the workplace can occasionally leave scars.  Supervision provides a safe and supportive space where you can explore work-related events that have impacted you personally so that you may understand better, seek a resolution and heal.

Who engages in Supervision?

I’m an Independent Inter-Professional Supervisor which simply means that I am self-employed, and I work with lots of different people in many different professions. I work with Doctors, lawyers, nurses who have very intense, demanding workplace roles but I also work with managers, business owners, people leaders, teachers, and coaches.  

Group Supervision is also beneficial in providing an opportunity for entire teams to come together for a more cohesive, unified approach.

The benefits of Supervision

Supervision can best be described as Super – Vision.  

My clients report greater clarity, focus, and intensional actions.  Supervision provides a great awareness of self and others, allowing the supervisee to understand themselves, and their working environment better. As a result, Supervisees tend to be more balanced, more self-assured, calmer, and confident in their decisions they make and in their own abilities to do so. 

I hope this article has helped to demystify Supervision for you and has given you a better understanding of how it could benefit you.  There are many different Supervisors out there so don’t be afraid to find one that feels right for you as the Supervision relationship is key to the success of the supervision process.

I’ll leave you with this quote from J Christenson that I feel sums up the purpose of Supervision beautifully. 

“If we cannot question the way we are doing things and thinking things at present, it will not occur to us that they could be thought of or done differently”

– J. Christenson

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