Strengths-based clinical supervision: An examination of how it works

Document Type


Publication Date



I have been excited by news from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) for years. My wife is a wonderful high-level manager of operations at a very large company, and she reads it on line all the time. Me, when I am wandering through grocery stores or the lonely bookstores that are still around, I grab the HBR when it looks like there is information I might adapt to the clinical world. I have quoted information from it over the years, both in chapters and in lectures. Somehow, some of those folks in mental health, and there are only a few, do not like the crossover references, whereas others do not seem to mind. Many of their articles are about leadership, and I think of those of us who have attained the status of a supervisor as being a leader. There are many kinds of leadership ideas but the ones I have gravitated to are those that are either about servant leadership (i.e., Greenleaf & Spears, 2002) or strengths-based (Rath & Conchie, 2008). Several days ago while checking out at the local Whole Foods, I spied my old friend, the HBR’s OnPoint, with a front title that said “Be a Better Boss: How to Bring Out the Best in Your People” (OnPoint, 2015). It sounded like something I would really like, so when I opened it up while waiting in line, I was thrilled to see that there were two articles right up my alley, and that would fit the chapter I was writing for our book. The first was about the simple but powerful word together that I will discuss briefly, and the other was about an old friend I have researched and written about before, the Pygmalion effect. I write about that later in this chapter under the heading “Supervising with Compassion Rather than for Compliance.”.



Publication Title

Handbook of Strengths-Based Clinical Practices: Finding Common Factors

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.