Guidelines for virtual group supervision

In coming to virtual group supervision, people tend to have two main aims:

  • To present an issue arising from their experience with a client and learn from the supervisor and the group (How could it have been handled differently, or better? What can I learn about myself and my coaching or mentoring practice?)
  • To listen to and learn from other people’s experiences. Virtual group supervision sessions tend to be relatively short (60 to 90 minutes maximum) compared with two hours or more for face-to-face group supervision. So it is important to prepare well to make maximum use of the time.

    Typically, a session would involve:

  • A brief check-in, where everyone gives a brief (30 second maximum) summary of their recent experience
  • Presentations and exploration of issues presented by participants (typically 20-30 minutes each)
  • Summary of learning (typically 5 to 10 minutes)
  • Presenting an issue

    In presenting within the virtual environment, it is important to be succinct, to the point and open. Try to keep your explanation and scene-setting down to less than three minutes.

    In preparation, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What exactly is the issue here?
  • What learning do I want to gain from this presentation?
  • How can I present it succinctly, to help my colleagues help me?
  • How clear am I about what I want from them?

    When you are presenting, consider:

  • How clearly am I explaining this?
  • When would be the best point to ask for input from the group members?

    After the discussion, you can reflect with the group:

  • What have I learned?
  • What actions can I now take?
  • What options have opened out for me?
  • What feedback would you like to give me about how I presented the issue?

    If you present the issue again at another session, as it evolves, consider:

  • What specifically did I do as a result of the previous conversation?
  • What has changed?
  • What went the way I expected it to and what didn’t?
  • What learning have I already taken from that?
  • What is the issue now?
  • What do I now need from the group?

    Listening to a presentation

  • Accord your colleague all the patience, respect and attention you would wish to receive, when you present
  • Allow them time to explain their issue before you ask questions
  • Seek first to clarify – don’t jump to solutions or advice until the issue is fully

    understood and in context

  • Use the chat room to comment and pose questions and allow the supervisor

    or the presenter to select which questions to address. Be prepared to

    elaborate if requested.

  • Reflect upon the learning you can extract from this presentation.

    © David Clutterbuck, 2017

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