Strategy 4: Provide Reflective Supervision

Staff benefit from supportive relationships with supervisors. Research shows that when these relationships are in place, job satisfaction increases, feelings of workplace isolation are lessened, and levels of stress decrease. Reflective supervision is a specific type of supervision that can build these relationships. By using reflective supervision, you can learn about and address barriers to wellness while building on existing strengths. Reflective supervision involves several important activities, including: 

  • Meeting with supervisees on a consistent and predictable basis
  • Ensuring that supervisory time is protected from interruptions, such as telephone calls, emails, visitors, or other distractions
  • Using active listening by paying full attention to the speaker's words and body language and by using your own words and body language to show your interest so the speaker feels heard and understood
  • Encouraging staff to step back from the immediate work task to reflect on their own and others' beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about a challenging situation
  • Creating an emotionally safe environment in which the supervisor shows respect for each supervisee's beliefs, values, and experiences and responds without judgement or bias
Key Points
  • Family services professionals and home visitors are the heart of family engagement.
  • When you feel emotionally and physically well, you are better able to engage families in positive and goal-oriented relationships.
  • You are not alone. Everyone contributes to and benefits from a healthy workplace when staff and program leaders practice self-care and create program-level supports for wellness.

To begin putting these strategies into action, reflect on the following questions:

  • Where can I start?
  • What can I commit to right now?
  • How is this decision working for me?