Group supervision – Marion’s Story

I was asked to develop a model for group supervision and having qualified as an action learning facilitator I used this learning to base the model on. I am also a coach and very signed up to this style of management as is my manager so when I suggested that it we might try this approach as a team she was happy to test it out.

I like to get different ideas and view points when developing new work or overcoming problems so the group supervision approach fits really well with my working style and I enjoy the sharing and collaborative approach to problem solving. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved.

Our team moved from individual supervision on a 6 weekly basis to a monthly group supervision session about 2 years ago.  We started off as a group by agreeing the ground rules of how we would work together.  We considered things like, what do we want to get out of the group supervision session, how often will we meet, how do we support one another through group supervision, is anything off limits and  how do we protect confidentiality.

Everyone takes it in turns to facilitate a session and once everyone has identified what they want to discuss the group will decide on the priority of the items and determine the running order for the agenda.

Jackie the team says, “I know many of us are enjoying the more structured approach to group supervision. It feels like we can all contribute and actually cover some really good topics and get the opportunity to move things on. I have also noticed that all team members are getting more involved in the sessions adding items to the agenda and contributing.

As manager of a largely part-time team, supervision took a significant amount of time to complete on a 6 weekly basis and at times I felt like I was covering the same messages with each team member. Group supervision has not only reduced the time spent as a manager delivering supervision, the rewards have been greater than gained through one to one sessions. The approach has enabled the team to discuss and agree an approach during a session rather than having to speak to a team member following a supervision, where a team member is stuck on an issue or project it can enable them to find a way forward quickly, as a team we support and develop each other by offering challenge or advice in a safe environment, and team members are open to giving and receiving feedback in a positive way which feeds into the team dynamic in general.”

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