Sample ENC 1101 & 1102 Discussion Thread
Below is a sample completed discussion thread from a former student. Students were given a topic to discuss from the readings (the supervisory relationship) and relay it to their own personal lives. I have included the sample topic followed by the initial response given by a student (Jason). For the “Student 1 (Jason)” response, I have also included his responses to two of his peers’ posts from the discussion thread.
Instructor Post: The last couple of weeks, our readings have focused on factors that affect the supervisor-employee relationship. What are the key lessons or strategies you will take from these readings as you approach the task of establishing a supervisory relationship with future employees?
Student #1 (Jason) - Initial Response to the Post
Since professional development is a lifelong process, I think the supervisor and employee relationship is essential. Supervisors do not only supervise the development of specific skills, but need to be supportive of the employee by learning how to be a supportive. That is, learning how to learn and to feel comfortable engaging in supervision is a skill in and of itself, and one that I believe can only be fostered in a positive supervisor/employee relationship. In the readings, they discuss behaviors and attributes that predict the supervisor alliance (i.e., interpersonal style, use of power, use of self-disclosure, ethical behavior, attachment style and evaluative practice), all of which I hope to consider when I become a supervisor. As I reflect on my own experiences as a employee I know all six of these have impacted my relationships with my supervisors. For example, self-disclosure stories about mistakes made by my supervisor helped me feel more comfortable sharing and accepting my own mistakes while learning how to handle when mistakes occur. Also, as a supervisor, I would be especially mindful about how to create an effective system to provide feedback, which may vary depending on the supervisee’s style. My aim would be to provide constructive feedback that leads to behavior change, while maintaining a positive relationship. The readings taught me how employees and supervisors react and manage feelings of shame and anxiety, which directly impact employee behaviors. I believe that supervisor’s should make effort within the limitations of the supervisory relationship to ameliorate such negative feelings and recognize when their own behavior as a supervisor is affecting the employee negatively.
Student 1(Jason) Reply to 1st Peer Student’s Post
I agree with your post. My past supervisors have also done many things that I feel enhanced our relationship. One thing that I have appreciated is having a standing meeting time with my supervisor. This has made me feel as though my supervisor has enough time to devote to the supervisory relationship, and that they value having an employee. I have also appreciated when supervisors take the time to personally introduce me to other staff members. I had one supervisor who did this every time that I took on a new case, and this always made me feel much more comfortable and reduced my anxiety about starting a new case.
Student 1 (Jason) Reply to 2nd Peer Student’s Post
I agree that feeling valued is critical. I also think I will try to use your supervisor’s strategy of introducing my employees to teachers when I am placed is that position. In addition to having a standing meeting time, my first supervisor always encouraged me to seek him out or to ask questions when I needed to, just like your supervisor. He always reinforced my asking so that I never felt like I was getting in the way. I can see that the best supervisory relationships that you have been a part of have been ones in which your supervisor valued your assistance and truly enjoyed having you as an employee.