Six ways to get good supervision

In an ideal world, all supervisors will know how to be the perfect supervisor and give good clear instructions, alert you to any ‘red flags’ that you need to know about, and advise of deadlines.DELIVERY PARADE

However life isn’t ideal and supervisors are often busy leading to rushed instructions.

Here are the six best ways to make sure you get good supervision:

Reframe the instructions

You might think it will make you look foolish but you won’t.  Use reframing words like ‘So I understand that you want me to…’ or ‘let me repeat back my understanding’.  This will avoid costly mistakes by ensuring that what the supervisor has said is what you actually heard, and if not, it will help sort that out straight away.

What is the big picture?

If you have a discrete task assigned, ask for some detail about where this task fits in to the broader matter – context is important.  And on this, ask about the client and the relationship – are there any ‘red flags’ with that client that you need to know about or particular ways the client likes work delivered.

What are the deliverables?

Find out if your supervisor wants a draft that can go to the client, or a short dot point summary.  Ask how much time the supervisor expects you might spend on it.  There is no point spending ten hours researching a topic and drafting a lengthy document if you were expected to spend two hours and give a verbal report on your findings.

What are the timeframes?

Find out up front when the work is expected to be finished.  Busy people assume others know what is going on, but you don’t.  Is the work due tomorrow, by the end of the week, or is there no real rush?

Are there any resources you can use?

Reinventing the wheel is a waste of time.  When discussing what needs to be done ask if there are any precedents that might be useful, or people who have done something similar before.

Ask for feedback

When the work is finished, ask for feedback.  If your work was used in a client matter, ask what was changed and what you could have done better. True mastery comes with feedback and acting on it.