As with all talking therapies, Supervision is essential to the maintenance and improvement of Solution Focused Practice. Solution Focused Supervision is employed to develop clients’ SFP, however it can also be applied to 121 Performance Reviews, and as a technique, it helps with the supervision of other activities where supervision is essential for maintenance of professional standards.
So what is Solution Focused Supervision?
Fundamentally, Solution Focused Supervision focuses on developing more of what is working, and an action plan that makes progress on the good rather than spending time analysing and quantifying what is missing and reviewing the bad. In this way, Solution Focused Supervision meetings are very positive and uplifting experiences, and both participants will feel the progress that is being made.
The process is very straightforward. I will refer to the parties as “Supervisor” and “Client” for ease, however, this could also be “Manager” and “Employee”, or “Consultant” and “Trainee”.
We start by allowing the Client to raise anything they wish to discuss at today’s meeting. We won’t discuss these items now, however, they can be explored during the rest of the conversation and we will make sure time is allowed or scheduled if the topics need more time.
We then look to review what is working well. This can be since the last meeting, or in a specific period of time. One way to ask this is, “What has pleased you since our last meeting?”. This sets a positive tone by looking for successes from the very start.
The next step is to ask what the client thinks could be improved. We can we explore what they believe would change if these improvements were made. This helps identify ways we can help.
If we have long-term differences to work towards, we may review the process. If this is the first meeting, we will look for the differences and identify them in ways that are specific, observable, measurable and interactional. Subsequent meetings will enable us to see if some of these differences are being realised already. This will help to identify the next stage which is the small steps that could be taken between now and our next supervision session.
A final point is to identify if there is a need for additional support or training, and of course to ensure that the items raised by the client have been covered before the meeting closes.
This process creates a record of success, a set of action plans, and a simple means of enabling the Supervisor to keep track of progress, and the Client to recognise their success and grow with confidence and support.