The experience I had accumulated in my secondary days as a supervisor in mathematics also assists me in my place of work.
I also had experience as a supervisor in my workplace, which enhanced my development level as a supervisor. My development level as a supervisor also continues in my workplace before getting admission into the university. Before I got admission in into the university, I had worked in series of companies notably manufacturing companies. For example, I worked with Toyota Company for 5 years as an assistant supervisor. My working experience in the company has assisted my development level as a supervisor. In my working experience, I understand that it is critical for a supervisor to build working relationships with supervisees. Typically, supervisory-supervisees relationships enhance mutual alliance between the two parties. The supervisor and supervisees share responsibility of developing empathy, genuineness, warmth, emotional and reliability engagement to develop key bond. The relationships will make the supervisors to assist supervisees to develop interpersonal skills and technical skills. (Falender & Shafranske, 2004). My working experience made me to understand that supervisors and supervisees need to develop a working relationship as well as having shared goals to meet the expectations of supervisees. During the my third year in the Toyota, I was promoted to the post of a supervisor and during the stage, I implemented supervisory techniques that I learned from my superior to my job functions as a supervisor.
The third stage in my development level as a supervisor is the training I have undergone in the university. During my course of study in the university, I have learnt several theoretical approaches to supervision, and my understanding of theoretical underpinning to supervision assists me to understand the developmental strategy to supervision. I understand that the supervisee needs to undergo different level of development stages from novice to expert. Typically, the integrated development model discusses three levels of supervision development:
First stage of supervisees is the entry level when supervisees have high anxiety and have high motivation. The second stage is when supervisees are at the mid-level with fluctuating experience. The third level is when supervisees are essentially stable, secure in motivation. "The integrated developmental model stresses the need for the supervisor to utilize skills and approaches that correspond to the level of the supervisee." (Smith, 2009 p 5). Thus, model has assisted me to understand that I need to balance the supervisee's high anxiety with my prescriptive and supportive technique. However, the integrated development model has its weakness. For example, the model devotes its application for undergraduate students and emphasizes little application of supervision for postgraduate students. Moreover, the model presents limited suggestion that is applicable for specific supervision method at each supervisee level.
My own aspect of developmental level is to discriminatory model that employs developmental approach to supervision. The model is to identify the current stage of supervisees and identify the appropriate support and feedback to the developmental stage, at the same time enhancing supervisees' progression towards the next stage. I will use interactive process to encourage supervisees to use their prior skills and knowledge to accumulate new learning. As supervisees are reaching the mastery stage, I will gradually incorporate skills and knowledge to assist supervisees into the advanced stage. Meanwhile, as the supervisees are exposed to new counseling skills and new form of information, the interaction between supervisees and I will foster the development of advanced thinking skills. As being discussed earlier on, the integrative model (discriminatory model) relies on technique and theory with respect of supervision, and the integrative model is widely practiced by many supervisors.
Discussion on the significance of being a Multicultural Competent Supervisor
In the contemporary working environment, it is critical for a supervisor to be multicultural competent to work with diverse client with different cultural background. During the supervisory roles, supervisors are likely to meet different clients from different cultural background, and a cultural competent supervisor will be able to assist supervisees in different level of development. A counselor needs to undergone multicultural competent training to develop skills in handling different supervisees with different cultural background. One of the benefits of being a multicultural competent supervisor is that it will assist a supervisor to deliver supervisory functions based on the specific needs of supervisees. Essentially, a type of supervision needed for a particular supervisee might be different from a supervision that should be delivered to another supervisee from different cultural background. For example, a type supervision strategy for Asian supervisees might be different from supervision of American supervisees.
Understanding self -- cultural awareness is first stage in becoming a cultural competent supervisor. I am an American and live my own life in the United States. My own cultural background, as an American citizen, might influence my supervisory process and relationships. My cultural background has made me to be free of prejudice and bias during my supervision process. Typically, the United States is one of the countries in the world that consists of multicultural settings, and my stay in the United States has assisted me to mix with different people from different cultural background. Since I started my elementary education, I have mixed with people from Asian, Africa, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and other people from different cultural settings. Over the years, I have been able to understand feelings, needs, and weakness of people across different cultures. My cultural background as an American will make supervisory functions very enjoyable experience. For example, I will be able to understand the feelings and needs of supervisees quickly no matter their cultural background. The skills that I have acquired will improve my supervisory functions.
Arthur, M.E. (2012). Application of the Discrimination Model of Supervision for Residency Education, Annals of Behavioral Science and Medical Education,18 (1):32-37.
Bernard, J.M. (1979). Supervisor training: A discrimination model. Counselor Education and Supervision, 19, 60-68.