In supervision generally, a more experienced practitioner is available to a less experienced one to discuss the latter’s work and its impact on them, and to support them in the planning and doing of this work.
In some quarters however, supervision is met with distrust and anxiety: it has come to mean micro-management, judgement, shame and failure. However, the intention of supervision is to be positive and enriching, providing a balance of support and challenge that encourages reflection and prompts the supervisee towards excellence in practice.
Michael Carroll describes supervision as a way of seeing things differently, literally applying a ‘super-vision’ that brings new eyes, new perceptions and new vision to the work: a super way of visioning.1 This super-vision involves being prepared to take on new ways of seeing. In attempting to see with new eyes, the supervisor attends to the professional needs of the supervisee as well as to the work and the manner in which it is undertaken. Crucially, this endeavour to ‘see’ also applies to the supervisee’s inner processes, including their experience of themselves in the work as well as their shifting perceptions of these events and encounters. In supervision the supervisor’s role is to see the world through the eyes of the supervisee and to see it bigger, more broadly. Ultimately, when entering the world of supervisees, the supervisor is also entering the world beyond them: the world of the organisation and the community whom the supervisee serves.
Sarum College is dedicated to providing high quality, multi-disciplinary supervision, delivered by skilled and experienced supervisors.
1 Michael Carroll, 2010, Supervision a Journey of Life Long Learning. in R. Shohet. ed. Supervision as Transformation: a passion for learning. London: Jessica Kingsley, pp. 14-28
Text taken from T. Nolan, Supervision as a Courageous Conversation ©2014