The Person of the Supervisor
This chapter takes an in-depth look at a significant part of supervision that has largely been overlooked. As discussed in chapter 4, the supervisor's experience is an important aspect of the encounter. How supervisors handle themselves has a major impact on the quality of learning for supervisees. Because supervision typically involves intense emotions, the supervisor's ability to monitor and utilize their personal reactions is in the best interest of the supervisee's learning.
This chapter first looks at the supervisor's influential role and reviews positive supervisor attributes. A brief overview of the concept of use of self is given; then the multiple sources of supervisor anxiety are presented to demonstrate the many challenging tasks and issues that face supervisors and cause stress. The necessity of self-awareness, methods for achieving insight, and supervisors' conscious use of self are considered. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of strategies for decreasing supervisor anxiety.
As stated in the previous chapter, a growing body of empirical studies demonstrate that the supervisor-supervisee relationship has notable influence on supervisee learning (Bogo 1993) and practice patterns (Tolson and Kopp 1988). While both have responsibility in creating a positive and open relationship, the supervisor is in authority and can take the lead (Bogo