The term ‘supervision’ is defined as an act of overseeing the work and activities of another person who may not be fully knowledgeable about what he does. Supervision is applied and demonstrated in various aspects and in many concepts. At home, parents supervise their children. In the workplace, supervisors are assigned to watch over their members. The act of supervising is not about taking control over other people’s doings; it is more of guiding and giving direction in a personal or professional context.
However, in certain cases, having an appointed person to watch over the activities of other people can be irritating and supposedly unnecessary. A typical example would be parents who constantly monitor and direct the day-to-day activities of their grown-up children; this can make the kids feel controlled, leading them to become disobedient and rebellious. Another example would be the case of supervisors who closely monitor what the employees are doing. This can make employees feel too dominated and pressured. That is why a very essential skill that individuals must acquire and learn is the ability to self-supervise.
Supervision is closely associated and manifested in a workplace or business setting. Career individuals who are able to self-supervise are reliable and trustworthy employees. Notice that one of the qualifications most employers would look for in a potential candidate is the ability to work without supervision. This article will provide a brief overview of self-supervision skill.
Basic Definition of Self-Supervision
Self-supervision is the ability of a person to understand individual capabilities, evaluate their skills and abilities, to gauge individual qualities, and to organize oneself in order to aptly adapt to any situation, particularly the work environment. The ability to self-supervise is a very crucial aspect required for every person who strives to become successfully self-reliant.
Self-supervising involves analyzing the tasks and activities at work and the things outside of work. It does not mean being your own boss, since a supervisor is still delegated to manage the members, but it means being aware and responsible on the day-to-day routines in the workplace. Self-supervision is otherwise known as internal supervision.
Because it is a relevant soft skill that must be acquired by working individuals, self-supervision must be able to guide a person in managing various activities and work. Some examples of self-supervision at work are:
• Performing duties without constantly being reminded by the supervisor or team leader
• Mindfully working on an assigned task or project without failing the given deadline
• Coming to work regularly and punctually
• Keeping records of reports and completed tasks
• Keeping a record of achievements and accomplishments
Supervision, Self-Supervision, and Leadership
The three terms are closely related and synonymous to each other but there are slight differences between these concepts. Supervision is a task or a role carried out by assigned supervisors to administer the performance and productivity of employees who are directly under their supervision. An example would be first-level supervisors who supervise a group of new hires. Leadership is a role taken by any appointed individual who possesses the characteristics of a leader. Self-supervision is an individual skill that every working individual is capable of.
Supervision is a managerial function and it involves leadership. Leadership may not necessarily require supervision, but more of the right skills for such role. Self-supervision can reflect both good leadership and supervision, but an individual does not have to be promoted to a supervisory position to be able to apply it. All three concepts have common denominators especially in the values of responsibility, discipline, and organization.
The Aspects of Self-Supervision
One very essential aspect of self-supervision is being able to self-reflect on one’s work. Self-reflection involves two basic components: self-observation and self-assessment. The process of self-reflection requires asking oneself effective questions as provided by Borders and Leddick (1987):
Basically, when self-supervising, it is important to be observant or vigilant of what you are doing at the moment. This requires relating to one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions with behavior.
This aspect is an evaluation of one’s performance in the activities and tasks done. The questions to ask would include the effects of self-supervision towards work performance and the manner of assessing the effectiveness of self-supervision.