Managing relationships: Critical elements of the supervisor and trainee working interface

1 October 2004
Volume 05, Issue 4

Tools and techniques for a successful supervisor-trainee relationship.

Introduction

Many of us assume that relationships – be they professional or informal – develop on their own; we either have the right ‘chemistry’ with those with whom we interact or we don’t. We can choose our friends whereas we have no choice about our family and potentially also our work colleagues. Despite this, the ‘thinking’ supervisor or manager can still plan a structure for relationships at work and for developing the skills, strategies and tactics to maintain these relationships, and to cope when they go wrong. Whilst some supervisors have an input in the selection of their trainees, others are allocated a trainee through a central recruitment process. The latter increases the likelihood of more difficult work relationships. This article offers a range of tools and techniques to manage a relationship successfully between a supervisor and a trainee.

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