Third Wave Supervision

Third Wave Supervision…Developing hopeful learning partnerships.

  • Are you wanting to engage in more meaningful, collaborative, reflective and change-inspiring conversations with colleagues?
  • Do you want to explore the implications for Supervision of Appreciative Inquiry, Narrative, Solution-Focused and Strengths Based Practice ? 

Most Human Service organisations want to create workplaces that support staff to achieve their potentials, yet many are plagued by recurring difficulties with staff performance, development and retention. When workers talk about these issues, they often mention concerns about organisational culture and collegiate relationships as well as not feeling sufficiently supported to make sense of the complexities of their work with clients and communities.

Through our combined 50 years of experience providing supervision in a wide variety of settings, we’ve come to understand that this is often associated with certain unhelpful assumptions and myths about supervision. In this workshop, we’ll identify these assumptions and myths and offer positive alternatives based on the values and philosophies of what has been described as a “third wave” of thinking about professional helping.

For two decades we’ve been exploring how ideas and practices drawn from the solution-focused, appreciative inquiry, narrative and strengths-based traditions can make supervision a more enjoyable and mutually beneficial process. In these ways we are mostly side-stepping the traditional “master/apprentice” styles of professional support in favour of “co-constructing” practice wisdom, developing reflexivity and learning from each other.

In this highly practical workshop, participants will have opportunities to explore the implications of these approaches and experiment in supervision-simulation exercises.

You will learn how to:

  • Develop change-oriented supervision agreements and learning goals,

  • Assist colleagues to recognize and cultivate their strengths,

  • Establish a conversational climate that encourages honest, rigorous and critical reflection,

  • Define practice issues, ethical dilemmas in ways that positively shift the focus toward skills, values and intentions,

  • Offer constructive feedback, even when there are significant concerns about a colleagues’ actions,

  • Provide ideas without imposing,

  • Bring colleagues together to make supervision a collective experience through listening/reflecting teams.

The workshop will include opportunities for participants to:

  • practice these skills on each other,
  • articulate the particular challenges/difficulties they face in relation to supervision in their unique contexts, and
  • work out ways to strengthen future “learning partnerships”.

For more information please see the “Program Overview” below or feel free to contact either David or pAul.


We’ll  explore  eight “tools” to help make supervision more congruent with “3rd wave “ approaches:

  1. Deconstructing Success  – supporting colleagues to notice change & become more consciously competent,
  2. Offering Acknowledgements  that  strengthen reflexivity,
  3. Externalising Practice Challenges so colleagues can step away from blaming themselves/others and into  more “response-ability”,
  4. Developing Motivational Learning Goals & Plans,
  5. Connecting Practice Stories-providing info/ideas without imposing ,
  6.  Providing Feedback by invitation,
  7. Respectfully Raising Concerns, including performance issues and “bottom-lines”
  8. Using “Reflecting Teams” to make supervision more “multi-voiced”.

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