4 questions you should ask your staff today to increase confidence and give them the cognitive edge to generate creative solutions

Supervisor and employee talking.

One of the key principles of Solution-Focused approaches is “Do more of what’s working.” This focus can have a dynamic effect on the confidence and effectiveness of our staff and their outcomes with clients.  From this position we can assist in developing their strengths and clinical skills. 

Often times when in supervision, we enter into a “problem-solving mode.” This has its benefits for sure, but it sometimes takes us away from allowing our staff to increase their knowledge of what they do well. 

This slight change in focus can increase staff’s confidence in performance tasks, decrease defensiveness in supervision, and provide staff with a cognitive edge to generate creative solutions to the problems their clients are facing. One way we can do this is by directing our supervisee to start identifying patterns of success at work during our supervisions. 

To start putting this pattern of success to work, try this! Begin supervision by asking your supervisee the following questions:

  1. “Tell me about a time where you were successful with a client.” (Look for a success.)
  2. “What do you think the client enjoyed/benefited from most?” (Increase understanding of  how the client views the relationship.)
  3. “How did you get that idea?” (Reflect on the process that produced the success so it can be repeated.)
  4. “Can you think of another client/situation that may be useful for?” (Look for ways the competency can be transferred.)

Side Note: If a staff member is unable to recognize a success, their confidence is very low and the staff member should be tasked to pay closer attention and observe “a success” and bring to supervision next time.

Remember we are looking for ways to have our staff gain working knowledge of the concepts of their own success with clients. We are not teaching “techniques or “an intervention.” We are working with our staff so that they can develop their own unique approach so that they can know “what works” for them with their clients.

To hear more of Dan's work, check out the video below. For Dan's bio and to access his full training catalog, visit his speaker page.

Published January 27, 2022