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In the last section, we discussed the four characteristics of effective goal setting: setting specific goals; setting realistically difficult goals; mutual supervisee-supervisor goal agreement; and giving feedback.
It would be great if your involvement with your supervisee was conflict-free and they always did what they were supposed to do. But clearly this is the real world and just as support staff needs the management of conflict resolution, so does the therapeutic staff. Has that been your experience? Let's take a step back and look at your history as a supervisor.
If you have been a supervisor of an agency for many years, I feel it important to note that you clearly "switch hats" from supervisor to mentor or coach. However, in the case of supervisees, I feel that another approach is more beneficial, and I hope you probably agree.
In this section, we will propose a new method of resolving conflict: observation; thoughts; feedback; desires; and next time.
New 5-Step "Conflict Resolution Process" Technique
♦ Step # 1 - Observation
As you can see, this was said in a non-accusatory tone. There was no demand for an explanation, just a mere acknowledgment of the behavior. Lynette felt somewhat embarrassed about attracting negative attention. Sometimes, this is enough for many supervisees to remedy their manners. Or, they may offer you a justified response and an assurance of correction, such as, "Yes, I'm afraid I haven't been as up-to-speed lately, but I have already set aside the entire evening to devote to those notes." However, they may not respond at all, and it may be necessary to move on to the next step.
♦ Step # 2 - Thoughts
This gave Lynette the feeling that she was not being sideswiped and that she had a chance to defend herself. Also, it provided Nora with an opportunity to understand a certain aspect of the situation that she might have needed to know. This step is vital in avoiding accusations of unfairness later.
♦ Step # 3 - Feedback
♦ Step # 4 - Desire
♦ Step # 5 - Next Time
Nora said the following to Lynette, "If you continue to neglect your client progress notes, I will be forced to give you a negative annual review." Avoid general statements such as, "If you continue to neglect your client progress notes, there will be consequences" and unenforceable or unreasonable consequences such as, "We will fire you from the agency." By giving them a specific consequence to keep in mind, your supervisee can easily link his actions with an unfavorable reaction.
Obviously, this six hour home study course cannot cover all areas of supervision. Thus, here are some books you might consider: "Discipline without Punishment" by Dick Grote; "Coaching, Mentoring, and Managing: Breakthrough Strategies to Solve Performance Problems and Build Winning Teams" by William Hendricks; "Conflict Management: the Courage to Confront" by Richard J. Mayer; and "Getting Them to Give a Damn" by Eric Chester.
In this section, we put forth a new method of resolving conflict: observation; thoughts; feedback; desires; and next time.
In the next section, we will present the various types of supervisees that are resistant to improvement: the yeahbut supervisee; the silent supervisee; the "I'll try" supervisee; and the irrelevant supervisee. Also, we will present various techniques for overcoming difficult conversations with these types of supervisees.
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