Group Leadership Skills

By Carolyn Chambers Clark | Go to book overview

6
Supervision of Group Leaders and
Coleadership

SUPERVISION

In group work, supervision refers to the interpersonal process whereby leaders present specific data from group sessions to a supervisor in order to receive feedback about their leadership ability. Supervision of group leaders can occur in a number of different settings and in a variety of ways. Regardless of these variables, the group leader is always entirely responsible for what happens in the group. Although able to influence the group leader, the supervisor cannot be responsible for group process when not present in the group (Green, Shilts, & Bacigalupe, 2001).

Group-work supervision can occur in individual or group settings. The novice group leader may meet individually with a supervisor, expert group leader, or fellow student to receive feedback about group leadership skills. This feedback is important because all people have “blind spots” in their perception that can operate to impede group movement, but of which they are unaware. Peers who are no more experienced than the group leader can often provide more objective perceptions because they have not yet been subjected to the pressures and stresses of the group. At the student level, peer supervision involves students supervising one another in their group work, under the guidance of an instructor. By serving as supervisors for one another, they learn not only how to be leaders, but also how to supervise others. Some questions the peer supervisor needs to ask when supervising other group leaders are:

Did the leader make assumptions without having sufficient
data to support them?

-142-

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