Recently I have had two interesting feedback moments in my supervision room.  The first involved someone coming back a month after our supervision session, and expressing that a core belief they had held onto for 50 years had been changed since our last supervision.  Their comment to me was, “I don’t remember what the question was that you asked me but I know I’ve turned a corner I’ve been stuck at for 50 years”.   I also have no idea what the ‘magic’ question was that I asked this supervisee, but I am thrilled for this person that I’ve been part of the catalyst of change for them.

The second piece of feedback was from another supervisee who is currently engaged in study in supervision training to develop themselves as a supervisor.  They explained to me in supervision that they could observe me doing in our supervision what they were reading about and writing about in their supervision course, except I seemed make it look effortless and easy. (If only they knew right?!)

Both these moments of feedback have me pondering the ‘magic’ of what we do in supervision and the ‘art of the craft’ of being with a person and working with them at an intuitive and intentional way.

It is such a dialectic to be both methodically and structured, as well as fluid and in the moment in supervision – to have conscious intentionality and spontaneity.

These feedback moments causes me to reflect on the importance of having a clear supervision framework to guide us in our engagement, so that we can trust our road map (or GPS) and then can just enjoy the journey of the dialogue and relationship.  In addition to a clear framework to guide me I also must tap in to the understanding of the purpose and role of supervision and thus my role as supervisor.  Knowing this helps me keep on the right path, while following the dance that my supervisee sets up.

As I reflect back on the two supervision sessions generating these pieces of feedback, I call to mind the questions I might have asked and stance I would have taken in these sessions, and note it is likely my stance would have been:

  • clarity that I don’t have to have the answer
  • a belief that my supervisee will find their answers
  • a use of mainly catalytic and cathartic supportive questions
  • recognising when to be occasionally informative
  • just going with the conversation without predetermined outcomes in mind

So I pat myself on the back for a moment at this feedback and the realisation that I have successfully used mostly catalytic questions to support and generate change in these circumstances.   I note that I have done what I aspire to do on these two occasions! I notice and move on to be inspired and to aspire to do this again….values lived out in action.  What an exciting space supervision can be.

Ngā mihi, Karen