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  3. 10. General
  4. 10.12 Professional supervision
  5. What ifs

What ifs

1. What if conflict arises in the supervisory relationship?

When conflict occurs, the supervisor and the supervisee have a shared responsibility to acknowledge the conflict and to take actions to resolve or manage the conflict. In situations where the issue is not resolved between the supervisor and the supervisee, other approaches to resolve conflict in the supervisory relationship are to:

  • engage a skilled senior departmental officer to assist in the resolution of the problem
  • involve the manager to facilitate an agreed plan and outcome
  • engage a skilled independent mediator
  • offer external counselling when needed.

When conflict interferes with the supervisory relationship, the supervisor's line manager will be informed by the supervisor or the supervisee and must ensure that supervision is maintained during the resolution period. The aggrieved person can take action by putting their dispute in writing to the line manager. If the conflict is not resolved, a formal grievance may be lodged.

Conflictual relationships in the workplace are always stressful and in the interest of healthy functioning teams the supervisor, supervisee, and line managers should aim to resolve the conflict as soon as possible.