I’ve been attending a training lately about helping students and colleagues in crisis. The sessions have been really interesting. At one point we were talking about how to build trust with individuals who are in crisis mode. One of the tactics the facilitator was explaining was all about how we need to be honest and admit mistakes when/if we made them with such individuals. We talked about this in contrast to the opposite – which would be telling lies, deflecting answers, avoiding topics…etc. The basic premise was all about building trust which would help to diffuse the situation.

I jotted this note down:

Being honest + admitting mistakes = builds trust >>> SUPERVISION!
Obviously triggering in my mind that this also applies to supervision.

For readers who have read my blog a lot in the past, you will know that I love talking about and thinking about how I supervise & how I can supervise better. While I am not going to go out and say that I purposefully deflect or lie to those that I supervise, I do admit that I have been known to occasionally sugar coat things.

As I reflect about this concept, I think about the difference between being honest and admitting mistakes vs deflecting or avoiding topics and how this impacts those that I supervise.

I know when my supervisor (or past supervisors) say “I can’t answer that,” I respect them more. While I still really want to know the answer, I realize that they have heard my question and are being honest with me. I then respect and trust them more.

For those who know me at all, you know that I am quick to admit mistakes. I have no problem telling those that I work with and for that I have messed up. Just the other day I sent an email asking for a piece of information I had already received. Once I figured it out, I was quick to send an apology email – even pointed out that I felt foolish! For me, this is all about being honest with those that you work with.

What do you think about how this concept? Do you feel that being honest and admitting mistakes builds trust, which helps make you a stronger supervisor? How? Why?

This post was posted on on July 2, 2012.


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