This workshop is designed to help supervisors understand the dynamics of group/team work and develop the strategies and skills needed to achieve improved outcomes. The workshop will address general and group supervision issues related to the authority theme (the working relationship between staff and the supervisor) and the intimacy theme (the working relationship between staff members). It will help the group supervisor to be better able to monitor the process (way of working) in the team as well as to attend to the agenda of the team meeting. While the focus will be on group supervision, many of the concepts, strategies and skills can be applied to the supervision relationship in general.

Topics include:

  • Contracting skills such as clarifying the group meeting purpose and role of the group supervisor
  • Reaching for feedback from staff to encourage staff ownership of the group
  • Dealing with underlying issues related to the authority of the supervisor as it may impact the development of the team
  • Challenging the illusion of work when staff avoids tough and taboo issues (for example, race, sexual orientation, death, job threats) and stays at a surface level of discussion
  • Dealing with the deviant member of the staff group whose behaviors are experienced by the supervisor as destructive to group cohesion
  • Helping the staff group develop the ability to give honest and yet still supportive consultation to frontline workers on specific cases
  • Helping staff to learn how to use ideas and suggestions from other staff without becoming defensive and resistant

Individual group meetings will also be analyzed against the backdrop of time, focusing on how a supervisor prepares for each session, then begins (sessional contracting) each session, helps staff members to address the work of the group and then brings the meeting to a close.

Course Code