Neil Thompson, Peter Gilbert

Reflective Supervision

Spiral Bound

Learning from Practice Series

A learning and development manual (2nd edition)



The supervision of staff is an essential part of effective people management. The quality of supervision can be the difference between acceptable and unacceptable practice at one level and between good and excellent practice at another. Reflective Supervision offers an excellent grounding in the understanding and practice of reflective supervision. Topics include setting the context, promoting anti-discriminatory practice, preparing for supervision, making supervision work, developing reflective practice, recording, giving feedback, providing support, managing poor performance, mediating and trouble shooting.

Reflective Supervision is part of Learning from Practice Series. Find out more about the range here.


ISBN: 9781912755462

Publication Date: June 2019

Contents includes:


Part One: Setting the context

Reflective supervision
What is ‘Human resource development’?
Lifelong learning
Investing in people
Making supervision work
What about the supervisor’s development?

Part Two: The exercises


A note on timing
Exercise 1: Experiences of supervision
Exercise 2: Induction
Exercise 3: Preparing for supervision
Worksheet 1: Preparing for supervision
Exercise 4: Beginnings and endings
Worksheet 2: Beginnings and endings
Exercise 5: Giving feedback
Worksheet 3: Giving feedback
Exercise 6: Helping people learn
Exercise 7: Hopes and fears
Worksheet 4: Hopes and fears (part 1)
Exercise 8: Giving support
Exercise 9: Mediation
Exercise 10: Problems in supervision
Exercise 11: Destructive processes in supervision
Worksheet 5: Destructive processes in supervision
Exercise 12: Quotes
Worksheet 6: Quotes
Exercise 13: The balance of support and challenge
Exercise 14: Good management vs bullying
Exercise 15: The four elements of supervision
Exercie 16: Recording supervision
Handout 1: Recording supervision
Handout 1: Recording supervision (Presenter’s version)
Worksheet 7: Recording supervision
Exercise 17: Managing poor performance
Worksheet 8: Managing poor performance
Exercise 18: Promoting anti-discriminatory practice
Worksheet 9: Promoting anti-discriminatory practice
Exercise 19: Devleoping reflective practice
Worksheet 10: Developing reflective practice
Exercise 20: Avoiding the drama triangle
Handout 2: Avoiding the drama triangle
Worksheet 11: Avoiding the drama triangle

Part Three: Conclusion


Sadly, since the publication of the first edition of this manual, Peter Gilbert has passed away. Peter had a highly successful career, initially in the army followed by 27 years’ service in local government social services as a practitioner/manager and senior manager, rising to the level of Operations Director for Staffordshire County Council and then Director of Social Services for Worcestershire.

Following this he became Professor of Social Work and Spirituality at Staffordshire University where he was involved in giving spirituality a higher profile in relation to mental health and social care more broadly. In the latter years of his career he worked as an independent consultant in social and health care, while also serving as visiting professor at the University of Worcester.

Peter held a Master’s in Modern History from Balliol College, Oxford, a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Sussex and an MBA from Roffey Park Management Institute/University of Sussex.

Dr Neil Thompson is an independent writer, educator and adviser. He has previously held full or honorary professorships at four UK universities and is now a sought-after trainer, consultant and conference speaker.


Find out more about Reflective Supervision in this video interview with series editor, Dr Neil Thompson.

Learning from Practice series

This exciting new series of learning and development manuals brings together a team of highly experienced writers, practitioners and learning facilitators with series editor Neil Thompson, a well-respected author and educator. Together, they ensure that these manuals offer an effective way of bridging academic content with the challenging world of practice. As such, they will be invaluable for training presenters and tutors wanting to host events addressing the important range of issues covered by each manual.

Each one provides all the resources you need to provide a high quality learning experience, including helpful background material to set the scene, a range of exercises and worksheets to encourage participant involvement and associated PowerPoint slides to aid the clear and effective presentation of key elements of knowledge and practice. These expertly written resources will provide a foundation of understanding and confidence that will enable even the most inexperienced of trainers to provide high-quality training.

Find out more about the other titles in the Learning from Practice range here.


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