The Power of Being A Supervisor
Hey Supervisor! You have power and if you are reading this blog, then you likely have either been a clinical supervisor or have received supervision from a clinical supervisor and you likely know “They are watching”. Supervisors you have a lot of power. Weird to say out loud, huh?
Supervisor Positional Power
As a supervisor, you have positional power. Positional power is the natural power you receive by being placed in a position above someone and naturally, as a supervisor, your position is placed above that of the supervisee, giving you power.
Supervisor Personal Power
Also, you have personal power, which is the skill and ability to influence others.
The job of a clinical supervisor should not be taken lightly. You are in a position where people are learning from you, watching you, imitating what you do, assuming what you are doing and saying is correct.
There is no way to know who is watching, absorbing, and repeating your actions.
This power can be used for the good or for the bad. You know, superhero or supervillian style.
Good Versus Bad Experiences With Power and Supervisors
Many of us have experiences with good supervisors and many of us have experiences with those that we learned a lot of what-not-to-do from.
I recently heard of a beautiful story, where a clinical supervisor provided 150 of clinical supervison to the trainee. When the hours were complete and the board approved the increase in licensure, the individual was celebrated amongst their peers, recognized at the team meeting, and both the supervisor and supervisee exchanged gratitude toward each other.
I also heard of a story, that wasn’t so beautiful. A story where a clinical supervisor provided the 150 hours of clinical supervision to the trainee and then, prior to the trainee turning in their information to the board to get their licensure increased, the supervisor became upset with the trainee and stated if the trainee sent the hours forward they would contact the board and tell them to decline the trainees licensure increase.
Both of these stories identify how much power you have as a supervisor. These stories show you how important your job is and identify the need for ethical decision making. It shows how much YOU are influencing those around you and identify you are a role model. These stories prove you’re a leader and prove the importance of your job.
Your job is serious, it is important, and has implications. You are training the next generation on morals, ethics, values, therapy, modalities, diagnosis, and power.
Pssst….if you’re one of the amazing supervisors out there and you aren’t yet listed on our directory, what are you waiting for?
Carry on, supervisor.