Why supervision agreements are helpful

One of the cool things about working in an organisation like Research in Practice is that we are able to take the learning from resources that we work on and put them into practice in our own work.

When I became a line manager again I checked in with my colleagues in the Business Development team around how I might start the relationships positively. They pointed me towards the supervision agreements that were put together for the Practice Supervisor Development Programme, which help to clarify expectations around how we might work together.


A close up of someone's hand as they sign a contract or agreement

Going through the back catalogue

Becoming a line manager again has made me delve through some old posts too. In a previous post, I wrote about wanting to have adult-adult relationships, and that's something that I think supervision agreements can help to establish. The rationale for agreements reminds me of a post that I wrote on groundrules – they can provide a shared statement for helpful interactions.

Reading back over that post on groundrules reminded me that I should check in on what the organisational values mean to us and what other values are important to us too. Do we have a shared understanding of these values? For example, what does it mean to be kind and how might that look in practice?

The clarity from the agreements reminds me of the manual of me approach, except the agreement goes beyond this into a shared commitment for how two people will work together.

Going beyond command and control

What I really like about the supervision agreement is that it places the responsibility for a healthy relationship at the door of both parties. In a command and control organisation it becomes the responsibility of the manager to shape the relationship as the buck stops with them. I'm looking forward to seeing how the agreements can help us to move beyond that point so that we have the basis for effective and supportive working relationships.

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