Managing practice

Supervision and team leadership - Team manager support

NISW research and development work has consistently found that first-line managers rarely give themselves the same support they provide to others, that is: the pooling of ideas and skills that comes from working as a team. A group of team managers has a wealth of experience of managing teams, some from years of experience, some with new and different approaches. This reference group can provide solutions to small but seemingly intractable problems, for example: 'How do I stop my team member arriving late every day?', that otherwise fester or are eventually directed up the management line, perhaps unnecessarily

You can put together a team if:

You already have a peer group, where there are several of you with the same job title: for example, Children's Home manager, team manager for area based services for Older People. It is likely that you already meet, but work to a 'business and information' agenda.

You are a 'one-off', for example, the manager of the agency's Leaving Care team, or of the Hearing Impairment team. You have peers even if they have a different job title or are located in a different section of the organisation. You will have circumstances in common besides managing the collective practice of a team. As 'specialist' teams managers you will be used to managing outside the organisational mainstream, possibly in isolation or with strong links with other agencies. You will be aware of the particular issues arising from managing the entire service provided by the agency.