Group supervision is facilitator-led via a formal, prearranged process that is agreed by the supervisor and supervisees. The makeup of the group depends on the goals of the supervision. Group supervision is a complement to, rather than substitute for, one-to- one supervision, though it may reduce the frequency with which one-to-one supervision is required.
What are the main goals of group supervision? Group supervision involves the use of a group setting to enable members to reflect on their work. By pooling skills, experience and knowledge, the aim of the session is to improve the skills and capability of both individuals and the group. The goal of the session may be to solve problems, plan work and set priorities, learn from others or make decisions.
The supervisor should discuss with the group, and agree, how the agenda and focus of supervision sessions – ultimately, effective group supervision should result in better outcomes for people… This is the important distinction between group supervision and team meetings or other group sessions – group supervision is about developing people with a specific focus on achieving better outcomes.
What are the main benefits of effective group supervision?
Effective group supervision can result in faster, more effective problem solving by drawing on the expertise of a group of people. It allows for learning from the diverse backgrounds and experiences of different social services workers and practitioners, who may provide different perspectives on situations.
Group supervision presents an opportunity to address the concerns and issues of individuals and an opportunity to develop teams.
Sharing in a group setting:
- can give supervisees an increased sense of support by realising others have similar concerns
- allows supervisees to find new and better ways of dealing with their own situations by listening to others
- can allow supervisees to explore different ideas about how they will solve problems by obtaining a range of feedback from others about issues or concerns
- provides a safe environment where individuals can discuss their limitations and problems without criticism – some individuals may find that they are more confident about opening up in a group situation than in a one-to-one situation