Supervision is relatively new within the interpreting profession. This possibly accounts for the common misconceptions such as the belief that supervision is only for those in training or newly qualified practitioners. It's also fair to say that within the profession there is often a fear of being judged when, in the case of supervision, the opposite is true. Supervision is about providing a safe space for professionals to reflect on their work, with the aim of improving practice.
At its core, supervision is about the relationship. It is finding a safe space, without judgement, where dialogue can take place in order to explore, reflect and learn from our experiences. There are a variety of definitions, each one dependent on the individual and what supervision means to them, but each reflect the fact supervision is conversation based learning with the focus being on development.
As interpreting professionals our jobs are varied and the success of an assignment is dependent on a number of factors. These include; our knowledge and experience, the background or level of context we have, or the amount of preparation. Even when all these factors work together and an assignment goes as expected, there are always times when something gets in the way. It could be a human element, relational, or external pressures we find ourselves battling against.
At these times our personal reflections might not be enough. Often, in order to understand what was going on, we need to unpack it, look at things from different perspectives or to take a step back.
Supervision allows us to do that. Through a trusting relationship and an honest open dialogue, learning happens on a deeper level. We can be guided to see patterns and behaviours, to look at an issue from various angles, and in doing so, improve our practice.
Personally, I find supervision invaluable when it comes to my professional and personal development. Whether it is exploring new areas, understanding why a job didn't go as well as expected, exploring an issue within the co-working or client relationship, the dynamics of a setting or those internal and external pressures we all feel from time to time. I get to sit back, unpick exactly what was happening for me and look at things through different lenses.
That is what I love about supervision, and what I hope to work with my supervisees to achieve - to learn and grow, to improve practice and to ensure they are taking care of themselves.
If you would like to learn more, you can contact me by clicking on the link below.
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