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Report
Supervision
A strength based addition to
clinical supervision
 John Merrick, Director Allied Health, Health
Education and Training Institute
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 Can occur in a myriad of settings
One on one, face to face
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Small group setting
Or in a one to one setting where one guy is decidedly
underdressed.
Or at the bedside…..
Age of the NSW Health Workforce
 Nursing and Midwifery. 48 Urban, Rural 54 (Baby
boomers and Generation X)
 Medical. Registrar, 33-35. Generation X
 Medical specialists, 53
 Allied Health. 40.
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 Does the age of the workforce present challenges in the
supervision process?
 Does the age of the Health professional affect the
communication between the supervisor and supervisee?
 Can we incorporate structure within the supervision
process to address the potential discrepancies between
the Generations within Health?
 Can we in fact turn the potential difficulties in to
something positive?
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“The Traditional Generation” (1925–1945)
Shaped by the Great Depression and World War II:
• Is conservative and rule-oriented (Eisner, 2005)
• Prefers consistent top-down management and long-term
employment
(Eisner, 2005; Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
• Is loyal and self-sacrificing (Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
• Value family and patriotism (Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
• Is respectful of authority and extremely loyal to employers
(Eisner, 2005)
• Tends to “do what is right” (Eisner, 2005)
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“The Baby-Boom Generation” (1946–1964)
Shaped by prosperity, 1960s youth culture, and the Vietnam War:
• Remains loyal to an organization (Hart, 2006)
• Is idealistic, optimistic, and driven (Loomis, 2000)
• Consists of diligent workers (Yu and Miller, 2003)
• Values organizational power (McCrindle and Hooper, 2006).
• Focuses on consensus-building (Hart, 2006)
• Is filled with excellent mentors (Kupperschmidt, 2000)
• Is a competitive group and advocates change and expansion
(Eisner, 2005)
 • Is ruthless in pursuit of material success (Eisner, 2005)
 • Tends to micro-manage others (Eisner, 2005)
 • Places work at the center of its members’ lives (Eisner, 2005)
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 “Generation X” (1964–1980)
 Shaped by dual-career and single-parent households, and by
organizational change due to
 globalization and technology:
 • Is cynical, alienated, and depressed (Strauss and Howe, 1991)
 • Is pessimistic and individualistic (Kupperschmidt, 2000)
 • Is comfortable with change and diversity, but rarely remains loyal
to a company (Hart, 2006)
 • Is independent and self-sufficient (Hart, 2006)
 • Is likely to search for more challenging work and better pay
(Loomis, 2000)
 • Bends the rules to get things done (Eisner, 2005)
 • Is skeptical of authority (Hart, 2006)
 • Values personal and professional lives equally (Eisner, 2005)
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 “Generation Y” (1981–1999)
 Shaped by the personal computer, economic expansion, and the uncertainty
following the 9/11 attacks:
 • Is comfortable with change and views job security as unimportant (Hart,
2006)
 • Is self-centered and narcissistic
 (Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell and Bushman, 2008)
 • Is alienated, cynical, individualistic, and self-serving (Twenge, Zhang, and Im,
2004)
 • Is inherently social (Hart, 2006)
 • Values input into decisions and actions (McCrindle and Hooper, 2006)
 • Has high expectations, high need for praise, and difficulty with criticism;
 demands creative opportunities; job-hops; abhors ethics scandals; prefers
casual dress (Twenge and Campbell, 2008)
 • Is extremely technology-literate (Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
 • Has a strong morality and patriotism (Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
 • Favors inclusive management (Lowe, Levitt, and Wilson, 2008)
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 Some of the stereotypes focus on negatives, narcissism,
selfishness, too individualistic.
 We need to incorporate approaches within the
supervisory process to accommodate generational
differences.
 Focus on strengths of the supervisor and the supervisee
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 Function
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Educational(Formative)
Educational development of each worker in a manner that enhances
their full potential.
Providing knowledge and skills
Developing self-awareness
Reflecting on practice
Integrating theory into practice
Facilitating professional reasoning.
Supportive (Restorative)
The maintenance of harmonious working relationships with a focus on morale and
job satisfaction.
Dealing with job-related stress
Sustaining worker morale
Developing of a sense of professional self-worth.
Administrative (Normative)
The promotion and maintenance of good standards of work, including ethical
practice, accountability measures and adhering to policies of administration.
Clarification of roles and responsibilities
Work load management
Review and assessment of work
Addressing organisation and practice issues.
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 Identifying strengths.
 Questions posed. “What would you say are your
strengths? What have you been successful in? What
have you been praised for in the past? Questions may
vary. Work out what questions elicit the best responses.
 Establish a list of the strengths outlined in the answers
given. Ensure these are documented clearly.
 Both supervisor and supervisee respond to these
questions
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 Establish whether some of these strengths can be
incorporated within the supervisory process.
 An example.
 Mary is an 24 year old Occupational Therapist second
year graduate working in a Hospital. Her supervisor is
Jane, a 54 year old Occupational Therapist with many
years of experience in the Public Sector. Mary has
recently arrived at the Hospital and is working within the
OT Department. In the first Clinical Supervision session,
Jane has decided she might try a strength based focus in
the first session.
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 Jane discovers in the first session that Mary is a whizz on
the computer. She has loved computers since she was a
child and uses a variety of programs to great effect.
Rather than stereotypically thinking that all Gen Y are all
technologically brilliant, Jane wants to incorporate this
strength into the clinical supervision process. Together,
they decide to have a shared file on the network drive at
the hospital that can contain all relevant documentation
pertaining to the sessions they have. Mary also suggests
that she can present some of her work in a different
format using a software package.
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 Jane has identified this strength within Mary and has
used Mary’s interest and strength to further develop and
maintain her interest in the clinical supervision process.
 Mary identifies one of Jane’s strengths as her manner in
which she seems to make patients and their families so
at ease. Mary wants to learn more of this skill from Jane
during the supervision sessions.
 Both parties have identified a series of strengths and can
use them to progress both relationship and their skillset.
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 The strength based approach relies on an agenda being
set each time there is a session. The strength based
approach should appear as a regular agenda item.
 In the example, Jane begins to develop an increased
understanding of technology, and Mary uses the
technology to both impart knowledge she has gained in
a manner that she finds comfortable. In the same
manner, Mary speaks to Jane about how to make
patients and families feel more at ease during the clinical
work
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 This addition to the clinical supervision process increases
the focus on individual strengths rather than focussing
on negative stereotypes of generational differences.
 Individual skills are then utilised to present information
in a different fashion, skills are identified and nurtured
with increased specificity..
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Many thanks
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