The manner in which feedback is provided to the counselor is very important. Prior to the observation the counselor and supervisor should determine what is to be observed, how it will be recorded and reported to the counselor. An observation sheet can be very helpful. These sample criteria should be a guide for each supervisor in developing a method of recording information in the observation. It is important to be specific and in some instances record exact numbers of incidences to be addressed in the feedback.
As “areas of challenge”, are agreed upon by the counselor and supervisor, criteria can be developed which will represent a report on performance improvement or lack thereof. The counselor needs specific information rather than a general report. The responsibility for the supervisor is to record accurately the performance and provide feedback in a respectful manner.
The counselor may be anxious to hear a report from his/her supervisor. It is often important to spend a few minutes giving the counselor a general report and making certain a time if scheduled for the full report in detail. In that meeting the supervisor should have detailed and specific information on improved performance and also address concerns. The supervisor should have detailed notes from the observation recorded on the Group or Individual Criteria for Observation or a similar form.
This meeting should result in an update to the learning plan which could result in successful completion of one of the goals or may require an update to the learning plan to address new issues. The focus of the supervisory meeting is always on the learning plan.
“Sandwiching” means that the supervisor addresses positive aspects of the observation, then discusses concerns and ends again with positive feedback. It is important to address concerns but not in a condescending or critical manner. This assumes the supervisor knows and uses the ORAL model of communication in providing feedback.
USING THE ORAL MODEL FOR FEEDBACK
In this section reference will be made to:
The ORAL model
The ORAL model of feedback is one way to provide information to the counselor. It is designed to address the OBSERVATION, REPORT to the counselor, state any ASSUMPTIONS and LEVEL so that an agreement can be reached between counselor and supervisor as to the activities needed to improve performance.
The ORAL Model will provide a format for providing feedback. Notice that the model includes asking for permission to provide feedback. In order to maintain a relationship of respect and collaboration, it is important to allow the counselor to determine when it is most appropriate to hear the results of the observation. This will reinforce the cooperative/collaborative nature of the