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Challenges of Supervision

Angela Sherman, SLP.D.

January 9, 2012

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Question

What are some of the challenges to being a good supervisor?

Answer

For a supervisor in any clinical setting, the role of training clinicians is complex and challenging. Professionals frequently evolve from the role of supervisee to supervisor without any formal instruction or training in supervision. In theory, supervision seems easy; in reality, it is far from it. This is evident when one reflects on the difficult task each supervisor has in fostering the clinical relationship. 

The supervisor plays an important role in developing leadership qualities in a supervisee. As one analyzes the clinical training process, interpersonal factors of both the supervisor and the supervisee appear to be important for effective assessment and management. A supervisor's interpersonal skills seem equally important when compared to his or her technical skills. As one considers the supervisory process from the perspective of a supervisee or supervisor, it becomes clear that both personality traits and leadership qualities are central. Therefore, leadership styles should change in response to the level of supervisee experiences and a supervisor must be able to adapt his or her leadership style to accommodate the needs of a supervisee. As a supervisor becomes proficient and flexible with this adaptation, there is likely to be a concomitant change in supervisory effectiveness.

Supervision literature reminds one that there is a challenge in recognizing the differences in supervisory tasks which may be influenced by the level of training and amount of clinical involvement of the supervisee. The supervisor must consider how to make this transition while maintaining a level of supervisee independence.

Dr. Angela Sherman is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Louisiana Tech University and an Adjunct Program Professor for Nova Southeastern University. Her research interests are supervision, outcomes data, ethics, and adult neurogenic disorders, and dysphagia.


angela sherman

Angela Sherman, SLP.D.

 

Dr. Angela Sherman is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Louisiana Tech University. She is also an Adjunct Program Professor for Nova Southeastern University. She has made numerous presentations at local, state, and regional levels. Her research interests are supervision, outcomes data, ethics, and adult neurogenic disorders, and dysphagia.


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