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Mel Gravely

Relationship-Based Competencies: Foundation for Professional Growth

We’ve reached the ninth and final installment of our blog series on the nine Relationship-Based Competencies, Foundation for Professional Growth. We hope you’ve enjoyed the series and learned a little bit too! (Click here to read all our blogs in the series »)

Maintain Professionalism

Professional growth is something that everyone should work towards continuously if they want to continue to grow in their current role or even to move on to new roles. Professionalism is required in a human services environment. Many times that can become challenging based on the relationships we build with families and the personal information they share with us. Keeping that level of professionalism means directing families to resources that allow them to help themselves, but not getting involved in their personal situations.

Understand Confidentiality

Maintaining professional boundaries and confidentiality with families and children’s information if very important when working with families, in a program where there are numerous departments working with a family. Families may actually share information with you that others working with the family don’t need to be privy to, and in those situations that additional information should not be shared.

Make a Plan

Create and work on your own professional development plans, in collaboration with supervisors and specialists. It is important that we listen to what others might have to contribute to our professional growth. While you might not use every suggestion that is offered to you, it is important to take a look at all views and make necessary changes to your professional performance. When you are well versed in your role, and feel confident in the information that you are giving and the services that you are providing, the family will see that, and they will feel more confident that you will be able to help them obtain their goals.

Welcome Feedback through Reflective Supervision

Being able to take constructive criticism is so very important to the professional growth process. Understanding the value of reflective supervision for personal and professional development, can change the way that you view your role, and how effective your role currently is. Working in a human services environment means that the needs of the people that you are working with are what’s important. Sometimes we have to look at the way that we are delivering services and change it to best suit the families that we are servicing, even if that change makes us a little uncomfortable.

The best way to make sure that you are reaching your professional goals and gaining knowledge as you go is by actively engaging in reflective supervision to gain new insights and knowledge about the relationships that you have with the families that you are working with on a daily basis. At times this may be hard to receive, but it is very important to improving the way that you are meeting the needs of the families that you are working with. Meeting with your supervisor can point out little things that maybe you didn’t even notice were hindering the way that you were working with families. That is one of the great things about reflective supervision, if one is open to it.

In summation, ones supervisor can be a great asset to their professional growth. Learn to effectively utilize feedback from your supervisor. Utilize any educational opportunities that you may receive as well as technical assistance resources to improve individual skills and knowledge. By grasping these opportunities you may find new and exciting and rewarding passions that can help you serve your families in other ways.


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