Building Strengths, Developing Competencies A Two-Day Workshop

Michael Durrant

The role of Supervisor is often thrust upon senior clinicians, managers and team leaders in human service agencies, often without a lot of consultation, training or support. The supervisor’s role is critical to the successful functioning of any agency so it is important that supervisors practice according to a framework that is grounded in best practice research. According to The Gallup Organisation, the most effective supervisors and managers direct 80% of their focus on their supervisees’ strengths and only 20% of their focus on areas of problem, deficit or difficulty that need attention. This finding (which goes against many traditional attitudes to supervision) is in keeping with the rise of “strengths-based practice” as a popular approach in service delivery. However, few supervisors have systematic, effective, user-friendly tools for helping those whom they supervise harness strengths and use these to build increased confidence and competence.

This 2-day training will explore how a strengths-based philosophy can be extended into and utilised by those in supervisory roles to provide focused supervision that not only leads to better and safer practice, but also improves job satisfaction and agency culture as a result. Participants will learn practical methods for working with staff in ways that enhance their sense of competence and effectiveness.

Some of the areas Michael will cover include:

  • How to have supervisory conversations that encourage supervisees to reflect on their work with clients in a way that uncovers new ideas and builds hope.
  • Moving the focus of supervision towards discussing successes with clients and how this approach can assist supervisees to discover new ways forward with their more challenging clients.
  • The role of supervisor as consultant rather than teacher and examples of how this works in practice.
  • The importance of considering our own assumptions about the supervision process and how these will shape our supervisory practice (both positively and negatively).
  • An overview of current supervision and management literature and how this knowledge translates into practice in the human services sector.
  • How strengths-based supervision is about much more than just “being positive” and still considers the realities of child protection risk and other legal and ethical imperatives.
Michael Durrant is a Sydney-based Psychologist and author. He is the Director of the Brief Therapy Institute of Sydney and an Honorary Associate in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. In addition to his extensive clinical and consulting work, Michael is engaged by the NSW Psychologists Registration Board to train supervisors of Intern Psychologists. This workshop has been delivered in a range of international agency settings over the last 10 years and is being offered in New Zealand in response to numerous customer requests for supervision training. The material has been especially designed for supervisors, team leaders and managers in health, welfare, education, and community-based agencies. 
175 Cuba Street, Palmerston North

Plenty of parking should be available in the surrounding streets. 

There is timed parking available out the front of the hotel on Cuba Street and along Lombard Street.

Campbell Street on the left hand side of the hotel has free parking as well as a pay and display option.

"Michael Durrant is an engaging speaker who models the processes he advocates"



"The seminar was excellent and of huge value to me and my desire to be an 'effective' supervisor. The strategies, processes and ideas learnt will be valuable and beneficial in my work with clients, their families, and in working alongside colleagues".

Registered Nurse


"I thought this seminar was the best seminar I have ever been to! I am planning to apply what I have learnt in both my professional and private life"

Registered Nurse


"Well run informative and comprehensive. A great combination of information and practical strategising. Good opportunities to practice skills on different participants and receive feedback. Michael is a very skilled presenter. His delivery is excellent as is his material".


Date: Monday 9th April 2018
End Date: Tuesday 10th April 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Venue: Distinction Hotel Palmerston North
Address: 175 Cuba Street, Palmerston North
Lunch & Tea Break Catering
Workshop Notes Provided
Certificate Provided
Bookshop at Seminar
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $499.00 incl GST
  • Ex Tax: $433.91