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Building Bridges: A Supervisor's Journey

One of my experiences in the profession as a supervisor still stands out to me. In preparation for my new client, I read his report. A serious crime was committed, and he already had a large criminal record. I had to maintain mandatory contact with this man for the next two years. I will honestly admit that I was somewhat intimidated by the crime he committed. That intimidation almost turned into pure fear when I met this man at the first interview. A large man, with long hair, and full of tattoos sat in front of me. I could give this man very strict conditions and lay down all possible scenarios by going back to prison when not complying with the conditions, or I could put this aside and invest in the relationship. I decided to choose the second option. I asked him about the origin of one of his tattoos. He talked in detail about his love for boats. We transitioned flawlessly from boats to music, where I was also able to share something about myself with him. Not only did he play an instrument, but so did I. A shared passion. The hour flew by, and not a single word was said about justice, conditions, and obligations. We both parted ways with the idea that this person was okay. The foundation for a good working relationship had been laid.

We give the working alliance a major role in the development of training for volunteers because, without a good foundation, it is difficult to work together. Keywords such as trust and connection are very essential in achieving a good relationship. You will have to do your best in building this foundation with your client. It's a two-way road. You too will have to give something of yourself in your contact with others. Trust is created because you also give trust. With a good working relationship, you stand next to, and not above, the client and guide him along the way. In some situations, your tone will have to be directive in nature but always based on mutual respect and the feeling of wanting the best for the other person. Can you learn it? Or is it inside you? Maybe a little bit of both. But in any case, we pay sufficient attention in the training to building a good working relationship. The basic attitude of empathy, without judgment and autonomy, is an important theme

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