“Supervision for Leaders and Managers in Charities & Social Enterprises"
Within Health and Social Care, there is a history of clinical supervision that recognises the emotional weight of work undertaken.
Leaders in the Charity & Social Enterprise sector, especially those offering Health & Care services, are exposed to hearing traumatic stories and dealing with ethical dilemmas and are bound by confidentiality and have no safe space to process the impact of holding such complexity.
Supervision allows practitioners to enter into the area of not knowing so they can find what needs to be known.
The SLT set the cultural tone within the health care organisation every day and have the power, therefore, to inform the working day and ensure it has a sense of balance. If they are unregulated it has an effect on staff and patients. If they are regulated they are capable of clear thinking, compassion, creative thinking and kindness. This has a positive impact on the whole organisation community.
By the SLT engaging in supervision, they are role modelling to the rest of the staff the importance of vulnerability and believing inherently in the process and the role of supervision in the whole organisation.
Why do people who work in Charities & Social Enterprises come to supervision?
One SLT member said it gives her
“the chance to reflect holistically on my practice, understand and share the blocks that were /are hampering me being the best me I can be at work - and subsequently out of work - and finding a place to offload my worries with regard to safeguarding and the toll it can take physically and mentally.”
Passion-People go into education because at some point they were passionate-it felt/feels like a calling. Over time this can get lost and one can become disconnected from this feeling under the weight of internal and external pressure…
Feeling Overwhelmed and Lost - Practitioners come to Talking Heads Supervision because they want to be the best they can be…they know the value of taking an hour a month to truly be with all aspects of their work and non-work self with a person they trust and feel safe with. It is only with such a person that we can risk sharing what is not feeling ok, what we feel is not going well, maybe how unsure and afraid we are….
Isolation – Those in senior leadership roles in care organisations work in a culture that is currently about managing. We have experience offering group supervision with a team in the same learning community. They could not use the group as needed and talk about difficult coping strategies as they still had to see each other at a meeting the next day. That is why we work with Senior Leaders in Organisations on a 1-2-1 basis.
What happens when we meet?
I find out whether you would like a tea/coffee! I think this is very important and is the beginning of the welcoming and settling process. Much that is said whilst I make a cup of tea ends up being the returned to theme of the supervision! Really!
If we are meeting via skype I will still make sure you know you are welcome to have a drink and talk you through the process of settling into our respective unshared but shared space.
Face to Face
As one Devon Head Teacher said, it is important to leave the building and come and leave everything in the room. It is then possible to return to work with the shift in energy and perspective that happens in supervision. The drive/walk to me is also important.
Supervision is a long- term relationship – when it is right. I have been in monthly or bi-weekly supervision (caseload dependent) for the last 18years. I have had 2 long term supervisory relationships and the at other times I was trying to find the right person to work with.
Thoughts on clinical supervision…. Entering into it for the first time I struggled to understand how it would be different from leadership coaching…. It is different. For the first time last month, during a particularly stressful time, I looked for when the next session was in my diary. Being supervised effectively gives emotional support just by knowing you have a session coming up when you will have an opportunity to share. With a good supervisor, it is comforting to hear the issues you bring are common among leaders of schools and my emotional response is rational to the situation I find myself in. Kind regards Pete
Supervision is a time A moment A space; A reflective tool- A time, A place. Somewhere to sit To feel To get clear; Or give questions and thoughts To be heard- And to hear. To emotionally catch And be caught.... Where you are; Knowing your supervisor holds you safe In their heart ... Giving you more time to gift And to make: And to be the best you Through every corner Lifework takes.
I feel passionately that supervision is essential for senior leaders in schools. We constantly hold so much in our heads and are expected to be all things to all people when they need it. It is important that we have a confidential opportunity to give quality time to the issues that keep us awake night after night. Supervision has helped me to keep things in perspective and explore creative solutions to some of the problems where I haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees. I cannot recommend professional supervision highly enough.