We (Hans Bennink and Sonja Vlaar) presented a workshop about Positive Intelligence (PQ).

Our audience were 33 supervisors from HAN University of Applied Sciences, department of (International) Social Work, in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

A big thank to Marlies van Tilburg and Miranda Reymer from HAN for organizing this event.

The audience

We took the stage at HAN’s theater.  I was delighted to meet fellow supervisors in person, as our work with HAN International Social Work students is typically conducted online.

The students are participating in internships located all around the world, so the group-supervision can only be organized online.

Professionalization events like this provide a rare and valuable opportunity for me to connect face-to-face with other HAN supervisors.

The topic: Positive Intelligence

The topic of our workshop was “Positive Intelligence“.

We aimed to share our experiences from a 7-week online training-program by @Shirzad Chamine.

Hans and I have integrated learnings from Positive Intelligence into our group supervision-session with students.

In the workshop we discussed the concept, its methodologies, and practical applications with our fellow HAN-supervisors, exchanging insights on enhancing our group supervision sessions.

For more information about the concept, we refer to Chamine’s book and website of “Positive Intelligence”.

Group supervision with students

Many years ago I have been educated at HAN university to become a professional supervisor. At HAN supervision is a regular and essential component of most educational programs for the helping professions.

Often it is the students’ first experience with supervision in their education. They frequently do not fully understand its role and function.

As a result, I need to explain to them what supervision entails.

It is particularly important to clarify that the role of a (group) supervisor is significantly different from that of a (group) manager.

I wondered where this confusion about the terms “supervisor” and “supervision” came from.

I was surprised to learn (Van Kessel, 2022) that supervision was known already in 1870. It started  as support workplace coaching of charity programs in the United States.

As forerunners of professional social work, these helping people aimed to improve their service delivery and educational work.

In the beginning of the previous century, they took over the name ‘supervisor” from organizations that used (and still use) this term for middle management functions.

Over the years, supervision has developed across the helping professions of social work, to psychoanalysis and counseling to supervision of coaching.

With the explosive growth of the number of coaches and training programs for coaches also increased the number of supervisors for coaches.

We had fun in conducting this workshop.

We hope that our fellow-supervisors gained interest in the topic and will integrate the concept of positive intelligence in their professional work.