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Reflective supervision is a valuable practice for many health and social care professionals, including those in nursing job, social worker jobs and support worker jobs. Here are our top tips for making sure you get the most out of this key component in your continuing professional development (CPD).

1. Set parameters and objectives

Make sure you agree with your supervisor how the reflective supervision will work, what you both expect to gain from it and how you will measure success. Schedule meetings in advance, have an agenda, and be clear about timescales and issues such as confidentiality.

2. Avoid interruptions

Your supervision time should be private and uninterrupted. Make sure colleagues are aware that you shouldn't be disturbed and switch off your mobile phone.

3. Take notes

As you would in any important meeting, it's important to record your discussions and have an action plan to review at the next meeting. Maybe you and your supervisor could take it in turns to make notes at each meeting?

4. Don't hold back

Be open and honest in your supervision sessions. To gain maximum value from your reflective practice you need to be prepared to address any issue relating to your work. It may surprise you where key insights come from.

5. Keep an open mind

Be receptive to ideas and suggestions from your supervisor. If you have pre-conceptions or make assumptions this can stop you from seeing the bigger picture and improving your personal effectiveness.

6. Don't just talk. Listen.

It's easy to get carried away and take the opportunity to offload. For your reflective supervision to be effective it needs to be a two-way discussion.

7. Why as well as what

When you're looking at particular events and actions, don't just talk about what happened. Discuss why it happened and what you felt at the time. Talk about any positives you can take from the situation and any lessons you can learn for the future.

8. Ask for suggested reading

Your supervisor may be able to suggest books or online resources which can help you understand or get further information on key issues to help improve your professional practice.

9. Keep a diary

It's difficult when you're facing day-to-day time pressures, but it's really useful to keep a diary which you can review with your reflective practice supervisor. Write down any key events or thoughts as they happen so that you don't forget them when your next supervision meeting comes around.

Do you have any tips for how you can make the most out of reflective supervision? If so, please share your thoughts with us using the comments box below
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