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discussion, staff development, papers sent on the Internet to workers, staff
meetings, and case presentations can all have a positive impact on workers
if resistance isn't great. If it is, a confrontation might be needed to help a
worker understand his or her resistance and to soften it so that new mate-
rial can be integrated into the worker's
application of
1. Prescriptive interventions are a form of coaching workers to perform
or eliminate certain behaviors. Loganbill et al. (1982) caution that pre-
scriptive interventions lower morale when a supervisor always negates
a worker's point of view in favor of that of the supervisor.
2. Catalytic interventions exist when a supervisor helps a worker under-
stand something so very significant about a client that it could lead to
a substantial breakthrough in the performance of the worker and result
in important change in the client.
The Journal of Supervision (2004) reports that the average supervisor
spends 80% of their time communicating: 10% writing, 15% reading,
25% listening, and 30% speaking. The Journal says that accurate and
effective communication requires the following:
1. Credibility: Supervisors must be believable. If they make too many
factual errors, workers will tend not to believe anything they say.
2. Context: Supervisors need to understand how workers view the
organization and communicate in ways that workers find grounded in
3. Content: Supervisors cannot assume that all workers know the signif-
icance of messages the supervisors send them. It is best to give a bit of
history and then indicate why the information provided has relevance
for the worker.
4. Continuity and consistency: You should not assume that one mes-
sage may be enough to alter a worker's behavior. Reliance on a single
communication effort may have a low success rate. Communication
requires repetition to impact workers who are busy with their
5. Channels: Supervisors have many ways of communicating (email,
memo, meetings, video conferences, etc.). It's important to know
which of these channels is most likely to reach and motivate the high-
est number of workers.
6. Capability of the audience: Clarity of language is very important.
Researchers know that when they give directions on how to fill out
questionnaires that it's important to write them in a way an 8th grader
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