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August 4, 2022

The Seven Perspectives (Introduction)


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Seven Eyes Model of Supervision

If you have been in leadership, and have had to supervise coworkers and employees for more than a few years, it’s likely you have heard of the seven-eyes model of supervision. This is a method of supervision developed by Peter Hawkins. It is designed to help practitioners grow in their professional development, particularly to understand the people and relationships at play. I have found this model incredibly useful in mentoring. In the next few blogs, I will explore the seven different perspectives this model takes into consideration, and how mentors and coaches can use this in their work. 

The Three Important Members of a Mentoring-Supervision Relationship

In a leadership position, it is helpful to have a professional supervisor, and sometimes you are a professional supervisor. This model focuses on how to make the conversations between the Professional Supervisor and their Supervisee the most efficient and insightful as possible. Peter Hawkins and Aisling McMahon’s book “Supervision in the helping professions,” explains that there are actually three members in a mentoring-supervision relationship; the professional supervisor, the supervisee (or the person they are supervising directly) and then the people the supervisee works with on a day-to-day basis. 

Here are a few examples that might clarify the roles at play:

  • Professional supervisor – Professional Mentor – Mentees
  • Professional supervisor – Senior Minister – Leaders, Parishioners, Colleagues, Oversight
  • Professional supervisor -Youth Pastor – Youth, Youth Leaders, Oversight
  • Professional supervisor – School Principal – Colleagues, Parents, Students, Board

Each perspective focuses on a relationship or viewpoint of these three members, in order to highlight different approaches to supervising/mentoring/coaching. All these perspectives, when addressed by a mentor, will allow for deeper insight. This will help you gain the best understanding of the people involved, their needs, desires, history and hangups. The goal is to see things you haven’t seen before as a mentor, and to use these new perspectives to grow and aid transformation. 

To learn more about the seven eyed model, tune in the next few weeks! You can also check out Peter Hawkins’s book “Supervision in the helping professions,” (p87-88 Open University Press 5th Edition 2020).

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