The Lift 005 | Using a Competency-Based Approach to Supervision with Dr. Florence...

 The Podcast

An ABA Technologies Academy Podcast

 0.5 BACB, 0.5 Supervision

Price: $10.00

Linda LeBlan and Tyra Sellers

Linda A. LeBlanc, PhD, BCBA-D

Tyra P. Sellers, JD, PhD, BCBA-D


This podcast describes the content in Chapter 5 Using a Competency-Based Approach to Supervision. The content covers the importance of taking a competency-based approach to supervision. The podcast reviews the components of a competency-based approach, including determining the scope or content, thoughtfully planning the sequence of that content, and embedding culturally responsive practices throughout. The podcast highlights strategies for teaching content and how to determine meaningful mastery criteria for the content covered. This content also covers considerations for the types and timing of performance assessments, a discussion about the criticality of feedback and how to be effective in your feedback delivery, as we all as the importance of on-going performance monitoring throughout the supervisory relationship.

Learning Checklist

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Listeners will be able to describe the general components of a competency-based approach to teaching content to supervisees.
  2. Listeners will be able to identify the different functional considerations to determining meaningful mastery criteria.
  3. Attendees will be able to describe at least 3 different types of feedback and considerations for delivering high quality feedback.

Course Rating

"This course is recommended for BCaBA, BCBA, and students of behavior analysis who will be or are currently receiving supervision"


Supervisor and Mentor book back coverThe Book

The book focuses on the importance of strong relationships and teaching higher-order skills throughout any supervisory endeavor. The authors provide a conceptually sound set of supervision practices that will guide the actions of those who aspire to become better supervisors or mentors at any point in their careers.

Learn More      








Dr. Tyra Sellers (00:00):

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this episode of The Lift. I'm Tyra Sellers and:

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (00:21):

I'm Linda LeBlanc.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (00:22):

And we're also joined today with a special guest, Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed, who's going to help us talk a little bit about the content in chapter five, using a competency-based approach to supervision from the book, but also probably other great stuff too. Before we jump into chatting, let me just introduce you if that's okay. Flo?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (00:46):

Sure. Of course.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (00:47):

Perfect. Well, Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed is a professor and chairperson of the department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. She is also director of the performance management lab, which sounds super cool. She's a BCBA, probably a BCBA-D, right?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (01:08):


Dr. Tyra Sellers (01:08):

Yes. A BCBA-D. Her research, which if y'all haven't read any of it, you need to get up on that, right now. It focuses on staff training, effective and efficient staff training, performance management. It's been definitely influential in my work, personally. Thank you for that, Flo. She has published a truckload of articles, chapters, books. She gives back to our profession in science by serving on the editorial board of a bunch of different prominent journals. JABA, Journal of Behavioral Education, Behavior Analysis and Practice, The Psychological Records, School of Psychology Review. That's a lot. She is also an associate editor for the Journal of Behavioral Education and Behavior Analysis and Practice. Without further ado, welcome Flo.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (02:02):

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (02:05):

Yay. How about if you start off just telling us a little bit about kind of what's going on in your world these days?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (02:13):

Sure. As the world is opening back up, we're spending more time in physical space with people which has been lovely and doing more hands on training and less remote training. Our research slowed down a little bit, but we're back at it again, doing a bit of telehealth and in-person research and classes are zooming and I'm doing well. It's been a busy year.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (02:40):

That's amazing. I'm so glad that you could make time to join us.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (02:44):

Thank you for inviting me. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (02:48):

Linda, did you want to start us off, maybe talking about the quote and the general topic that we're going to dive into today?

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (02:58):

Yes. I'd love to. This quote for this chapter is one that I like a lot, and it says, "I've always looked at my competencies before accepting any responsibilities", and that is by our Narayana Murthy. That notion of looking at what you can do before you take on duties, responsibilities. That really speaks to the ethics of our field and the ethical responsibility for a supervisor to help their supervisee become competent, not just to accrue the hours. This chapter is really about taking responsibility for a systematic competency-based approach and taking responsibility to provide all of the feedback and support that you need to provide in order to help your supervisee become ready for that independent practice. The full scope of things that we might teach is way too large. Just think you're going to do it off the top of your head. You have to have a thoughtful competency-based approach and just the task list isn't going to get you there. That's a list of things that are important, but it is not necessarily exactly all that a person needs to do when they're practicing independently. Identifying those valued outcomes in the workplace, and then setting a plan to help people develop those skills and moving through a bit of a curriculum is a critical part of effective supervision. I know that this is something that is very linked to a lot of your research, Flo, in terms of really identifying what kind of repertoires are needed to be successful, to be proficient even, and then finding a way to systematically go through those things. What did you think about this chapter?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (05:18):

First, I loved this book and I also loved this chapter. A lot of my emphasis has been, and things that I've spent some time thinking about, has been on what are practical ways we can accomplish what we need to accomplish, right? And be successful so that folks are delivering a high level, high quality service in an ethical way and to adopt some of the language in this book in a culturally responsive way. When our field is new to talking about some of those latter concepts, we're sort of behind the eight ball with respect to that relative to other fields. What I really loved about this book is in many ways, it created a roadmap for supervisors and cited relevant research that influenced your recommendations. It took some of the mystery out of what to do. Particularly this chapter, right? It's talking about process to achieve desired outcomes. I thought this chapter was fantastic.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (06:20):

This was a real meat and potatoes chapter. Here's what you need to do. Here's how you need to do it. Here's what a Mager says about how to establish all of your specific targets. I do hope that it provides people with a lot of guidance. I have heard some people say it feels awfully daunting once their eyes are open to the fact that, "Oh, it's not just the hours on the task list." This is really bigger than that. That's a real response. It is a big thing to provide this kind of supervision, particularly if you feel like you're in it alone. It's one of the reasons why we chose that name, "The Lift" for this podcast. We haven't had a lot of resources in the field and as we make more resources, particularly practical ones that give you the roadmap, hopefully it becomes a little easier to do the right thing and to do it well.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (07:34):

I agree. I was sort of thinking, as I was listening to both of you talk about maybe the focus or impact of this chapter. Sitting from this perspective, I thought about this chapter as sort of like a "duh" chapter. Obviously you would need to know what it is that you're going to do with your supervisees and have it planned out and think about mastery criteria and things like that, but that's me with pushing 30 years experience. That was a jerk response from me. I think in this moment, because as I continue to listen to you both, I thought back to my early years of supervising and I didn't have a plan and I had to slowly build one over the years because I didn't have the money or the resources or the time to create everything for a supervisee or a trainee all at once. I started taking a systematic approach with each interaction with the supervisee. I would try some things if it worked well, I would write it up in a spreadsheet and add that to my list of tasks that I would do with folks and tweak it along the way. I didn't think about necessarily the terminal context at first when I was working on teaching things with my supervisees and I certainly didn't think about things like, "I really need to get to know and interview this person and think about where do they see themselves in their career." That's going to shape and change what I focus on and how much emphasis I put on different skills, right? Some are pivotal and you got to have these and you got to be solid and fluent and master these things. But if you're never, ever, ever proceeding that you're going to work in severe problem behavior, maybe I don't care that I get you to be super, uber competent with functional analyses. Maybe you need to know about it, but I don't want to spend my time focusing on those things. I really appreciated listening to both of you because that reminded me, "Wait a minute, Tyra. You haven't always been where you are right now." Thinking about how newer folks might be perceiving this chapter.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (09:48):

If you don't mind me jumping in real quick...

Dr. Tyra Sellers (09:50):

Not at all.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (09:51):

A personal story. I had the same reaction years ago that a competency based approach, like, "Duh. Yeah!" Then I gave a talk at a state chapter and it was about using behavioral skills training and pretty simple performance management strategies and as I left the stage, I had a group of people following me. I felt like a rock star, right? Wanting to talk to me and I went, "Okay, this is needed." I really became laser-focused for years to just keep talking about this and I worry sometimes like, "Okay, people know this. I'm done talking about it," and then something happens where I'm like, "Okay, yeah." Behavior analysts regularly adopt the competency based approach to teach skills to clients or learners, but there's this gap...

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (10:42):

There's like a failure to generalize.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (10:44):


Dr. Linda LeBlanc (10:44):

Somehow, us grown people as trainees, are different enough as a stimulus that we're too far along the gradient.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (10:57):

Yup. I think this chapter is so valuable because it doesn't assume that people who are agreeing to take on this really important responsibility that they need to take seriously. Yes, it's effortful, it's daunting. It's a lot of work. It sort of breaks it down into very straightforward activities that someone needs to engage in to do it successfully.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (11:21):

I love that story so much and I love the, "Let's remember we are behavior analysts." We use our technology for, let's say you work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and you wouldn't say, "I know I'm going to do some stuff with this client". You would really assess what are their needs and plan things out. I wonder if we could chat a little bit about the idea that a supervisor taking on a trainee doesn't necessarily mean you are accepting in that moment to cover every single thing on the task list in depth, because you might not have the resources to do that. You might not have the expertise to do that. You might not be the only supervisor providing supervision for this person, or you might not have them for 1500, 2000 hours. You might only have them for a little bit. The idea that you don't try to shove more into less time, but be purposeful. This is something that we do with clients as well, right? We don't say, "I'm going to help you with everything in your life." We look at, "What are the critical needs? What are the resources?" Perhaps we're doing a very narrow focused programming with a client where we're just working on toilet training and some social skills or something versus a comprehensive program with someone. I think, again, to use your tool of comparing what we do with our trainees, at least in terms of use of our technology with our clients. That's important. Supervisors should be thinking about, "What actually is going to be my focus for this trainee?" and it's not going to be the same for every trainee, probably.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (13:13):

Uh-huh. I completely agree. It could be that the supervisee comes with some skills already. If you took on a client, you wouldn't assume that there were no skills. You would assess the idea of do a self-assessment or have the supervisee do a self-assessment and for some of those compare that to your observation or judgment. That allows you to target some things that aren't on the task lists like accurate self-assessment. Those are some important competencies as well, not just things on the task list, but that notion of being able to identify where you are with respect to your mastery of the task list. We are capable of teaching ourselves and that means that if you can support someone to be capable in identifying where they're already pretty good at something and where they have some deficits and to be focused towards some of those deficits, as opposed to, "I'm just going to do the things I'm already really good at", then you set them up to be able to acquire the rest of the skills that you don't have the time to focus on. For me, it's about knowing, "Okay, which parts of this task list am I going to be best suited to work with you on? And I'm going to teach you how to be a great reflector, a great self assessor, and to find your resources to acquire new skills independently." One of the things that's not on the task list at all, and we really didn't even talk about in the book, but I do think is important. Not everyone does and the logistics don't always support it, but I think it's important for supervisees to have experiences with a broad range of populations. The fact that most people are getting their experience hours as part of a job and the job is probably with one population, I think means that we are generally having new BCBAs that have a more limited range of experience. They haven't worked in foster care and out of home services, dementia care, adult residential, general school settings. I'm not saying we need a task list for that, but I do think that notion of it's multiple exemplar training and it helps you to apply those items from the task list a little more broadly because you see how the same tools can be used to target a much broader array of different kinds of skills. What are your thoughts on that notion of a diversity of populations or settings or training experiences?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (17:02):

I'll jump in if you don't mind, Tyra. I love it. It reflects conversations I've had with my colleagues here at KU. I remember going through my pre doctoral internship at the May Institute and they baked into the experience rotations. You had to experience different settings and populations and whatnot. I don't think we do enough of that in behavior analysis. I remember going from working with young kids with autism to accepting a position with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and thinking, "Wait, what do you mean I can't just give them access to the TV when they've earned it?" They have a right to watch their TV in their own home. Just really thinking about that this is a different ball game and there's lots of things in adult services that are completely different than children's services and different populations. You're approaching service delivery differently. I think that would be fantastic, firstly. Secondly, going back to your conversation about self-assessment. I've always felt a little unsure about how I feel about it and I've started adopting that just this past spring. One thing that I do like about it is I can have a supervisee perform beautifully on all the checklist items that I have, and I can even sit back and stop using my checklist and just sort of take in the whole gestalt of it. How the performance was going and how they are doing? And they can still report that they feel uncomfortable with performing that procedure and just looking at their performance and never reveal that. That self-assessment...

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (18:46):

It's both competence and confidence.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (18:49):

Yeah and then it invokes a conversation that we can have around why is that? And we can take a functional approach to addressing that.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (18:58):

Yeah. I have two kinds of thoughts. One that is directly related with the kind of diversity of practice or sub-specialty areas. Then another, that I just have kind of a question about really a point Linda made earlier. My first statement is I totally agree that getting a multitude of experiences, even if only brief, even if you're only exposed for a few weeks is so critical and amazing. At the same time, I think many of our folks that are going through their field work experience hours are also earning a living and they might not have access to the ability to do that. They also might be doing an online program. They may be in a geographically remote or less populated area. While I think that's kind of the gold standard, I don't know that it's achievable for everybody, but that makes me think like, "Okay, cool, that's fine." Behavior analysis is all about looking at the environmental variables and arranging them for maximum outcome. Right? In the instance that you cannot give that experience to your trainees directly, there's no reason that you can't use a variety of examples. Don't go to the three-year-old with autism for every example that you use and every case scenario that you use. Get yourself a good community of practice and meet other practitioners that work in different areas than you do, because they might be willing to let someone Zoom in see something that they otherwise wouldn't be able to see, or maybe they're willing to video, getting appropriate consents. They're willing to videotape something. A context is setting a technology that otherwise wouldn't be available. You also can access just scholarly work from other sub-specialty areas. I don't know if everybody's aware of this, but there's a set of videos. The ABA sub-specialty resources on the BACB's website. There are videos and some are PDF summaries. Great resources because I'm finding that a lot of new folks don't even know about the different applications. That's another thing that supervisors can fold into what they're doing. That's just my add on to that. Yes, it's incredibly valuable and it's not enough just to say, "Well, I don't live in an area where I can access that kind of graduate training experience," or, "As a supervisor, I don't have access to enough settings where I could have people do rotations." That's okay. We often don't have the most optimal resources available to us, but you can still think functionally, "How do I approximate that?" The other point and kind of question is when we're talking about creating the scope of what it is that we're covering. Linda, you said something that was really important relative to client programming. We sort of take the relevant contingencies into consideration. In other words, we are going to find out what we think a client might need to increase and we're also going to ask them, right? We're finding out from the client, from the stakeholder what's important to them. Is that important to do in our supervisory relationships? Do we make space for the trainee to nominate and direct to some degree what they're interested in? If so, why do we do that?

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (22:53):

Yeah, I think we have to, because they have access to data that we don't. Much like Flo was saying: You can have seen them do a skill well, and not realize that they don't feel very confident in that skill unless you ask them and I also think that you won't have access to their covert behavior related to their preferences, if you don't ask them. There are core things everyone needs to know, but that notion of even getting someone to think about which ones would I like to work more on and why. You're building a higher order skill in and of itself and if we take that approach of like, "We're just going to go down the list in order and you do the next one." I think you can really set up a situation where the supervisee or trainee kind of feels like they're training and supervision is happening to them. Rather than that they are fully engaged in helping to drive that train and adding in that additional information, which is really all about the social validity of the targets. The extent to which various skills or ideas are going to feel useful to them. Now, I will say this, there are some that it's not like we're talking about castor oil, but it's good for you. We are going to talk about the underlying philosophical principles of science, and we're going to talk about how you take that skeptical science minded approach. You think about empiricism when you do things that are consistent with it. I wouldn't expect some trainee to come along and say, "I'd really like to delve into empiricism and skepticism." That'll be on me, but there are a broad range of things that they could convey some of their interests and preferences for. Having a list of topics and a curriculum as a starter helps them know the things they wouldn't think of, helps you know the things that you wouldn't think of. I think it holds a supervisor accountable to not just cover the things they really like, that they feel really comfortable with, but also because we naturally do that. We approach those things that have a very strong success history. And we avoid the ones where we've had very little experience in the absence of some rules and gold directiveness. For me, the curriculum is not only for the supervisee or trainee. It's for the supervisor. In prior chapters, we talk a little bit about how the process of supervision keeps you sharp, helps you grow as a supervisor. I think that's one of the ways that it does. You have that supervisee self-assess. Well, that's not going to hinder you from doing a little self-assessment as well. From also noticing that if the supervisee is nominating some skills or topic areas where you're like, "Oh, maybe that's something to take action on." I do think there's an important role for involving that supervisee in identifying what you're going to work on.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (26:49):

Linda, you said it beautifully. I agree with everything you said. I would add two really minor comments. I see the supervision process is helping the supervisee to reach the career they desire. Seeking or soliciting their input helps you create opportunities so that that actually can happen. Then also one thing I've enjoyed as part of the supervision process is my ongoing learning. Even soliciting input on measurement of core competencies. Maybe not for an early supervisee who might lack those skills, but sometimes people come to supervision after working in the field for a while, or if they're more advanced later on in their supervision experience. Sometimes some of the questions where they just ask the simple question like, "Oh yeah, that's a great idea." Or they actually have recommendations and they've thought carefully about it. It's a learning process for me as well. Creating the conditions under which supervisees would be comfortable having input, I think is important and that partially comes from asking them to nominate content.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (28:02):

I love that and that whole comment wraps its arms around the entire theme of the book, which is, this is a relationship that is collaborative. That is bi-directional, it's not a transaction, it's not a dictatorship. The idea that both the individuals have something to gain and have some risk involved is so important. You just kind of summed it all up perfectly.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (28:33):

Well, I hope you won't mind if I switch the topic just a little bit and we take this opportunity to talk about feedback. I love talking about feedback and Flo is a scholar in this area. It's one of those things where it seems almost universal that people have histories with feedback that lead them to not only want to avoid receiving it, but even to avoid giving it. You can get into a real pickle if you have a supervisor and a supervisee that are both avoidant of feedback, there's going to be almost no learning occurring there. It's one of the reasons why we, in fact, in a next version of the book, we're thinking about actually breaking an entirely separate chapter out on feedback. It can be so difficult to navigate and those escape and avoidance contingencies can be so subtle that we don't even realize we're doing it. We're kind of giving away our best tool for affecting change. We suggest that you have to day one, talk about feedback, why it matters, how do you want it? What's your history been? Is that something that you typically do and what have been your observations about feedback and people's history with it?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (30:22):

I have had the same experiences and that is the number one thing when I speak or do workshops or just consult with agencies and I'm interacting with staff. People are uncomfortable giving feedback and often struggle with receiving or accepting it, and there is this avoidance situation that doesn't do anybody any good. It can potentially harm clients. We have to figure out how to address this. I love that you included feedback scripts to set the stage for that. I do the same thing, whether it's in a BCBA supervision relationship or with graduate students on my team. The very first day we meet and they join the team or I start the supervision relationship, that's the conversation we have. In fact, I even do it earlier, where I talk about the culture of the team and how there's just feedback flying all over the place that's going in every direction and everyone's giving it and receiving it. I try to frame it as we are invested in your success and we're all invested and we're only as strong as the weakest member. We have to lift each other up. So the fact that you use "Lift" for the podcast, I think I love that. Including that content in the chapter, I think will be really helpful for readers and breaking that out into a separate chapter. I think people really struggle with it. I think that's a great idea.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (31:54):

Well, and I think most people don't really reflect on what their full learning history with feedback is. Although, if you poked them to reflect on it, they can identify some of those salient events. I think particularly with high achievers, people who are pleasers who want to do well. Even small, reasonably presented indications that they didn't do it perfectly can be crushing. What I often find is... I walked that road myself and was perhaps far too sensitive to corrective feedback. I certainly can identify with that and talk with supervisees about that. I will say this: As I was about to get my PhD, I had inadvertently really imitated some harsh, more direct, not as supportive feedback patterns. I was lucky enough to have one of my supervisors give me feedback on my feedback and it impacted my behavior very quickly because I immediately saw, "Oh, wait a minute." I'm doing exactly what I know I didn't like someone doing to me. I don't know that I've noticed other people doing it differently, but that doesn't mean they haven't been around. I just set myself a goal to behave differently and become better at feedback. I now use the phrase with folks, "Try to become a master of feedback." Really think about why am I saying it this way? If I say it that way, will I change their behavior and change how they feel? Every learning opportunity becomes the opportunity to balance the scales on, "Oh, wait a minute. Feedback is awesome. I want some of that."

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (34:36):

Yeah and they seek it out, even if you happen to not give it, right? Linda, I love that you shared that story. I had a similar experience, not necessarily that I was imitating previous models, but I sort of have a strong personality and grew up in New York. We're pretty direct and straight forward and tell people what we think. I've had the word "intimidating" even when I'm not giving feedback. I'm thinking we're just having a lovely conversation. I've received feedback myself that I can be intimidating. I've spent a lot of time reflecting as I moved into different professional circles about how my interactions with people can be received and whether it not only effectively changes behavior, but also continues to contribute to the development of the relationship I want to have.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (35:26):

I love that so much. I'm so sorry to interrupt you. I'm a fan girling so hard over everything you're saying right now. I'm going to shut up, but I just needed to say that. I could not contain it anymore.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (35:38):

That's awesome. Do you think that notion of you'd better reflect on what your experiences have been, or you almost become subject to them rather than being able to work them into a bigger plan of change for yourself. It is hard to give feedback in enough ways that are flexible enough for all of the different ways that people like to receive it. Some people do like direct feedback. The thing is you've got an intermittent schedule of reinforcement for however it is you deliver it. That idea that like, "Oh, let me change enough of my behavior so that it's close to FR1". Each time I give feedback, it's hitting that mark of producing a little bit of insight and eagerness to learn for that person. In your research, have you found a formula or different patterns of what people like? Like, "Hit me with the good stuff first." I don't want to have to wait for that shoe to drop. Give me a hug first or maybe at the end.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (37:14):

I'll speak in generality. In many situations I'll say, "What do you want to hear first? Areas that need to improve or what I was really impressed by." They almost always say the areas that need to improve. Then we get through that because they're nervous or they want to talk about it, or they're enthusiastic about changing their behavior. There's a whole host of reasons why they would want that first. Then I make sure I say, "We have to talk about things that you did well, because I want that to continue in the future." If someone's early on working with me, sometimes that can be intimidating. I might change how I go about doing it. I try to avoid the feedback sandwich, but it's not the worst thing in the world. I just feel like it lacks authenticity. If you aren't careful about how you use it. My marker of success, whenever I leave an interaction where we're discussing feedback that have is, "Do they thank me when we're done and do they express appreciation?" I also make sure, one of the things I've learned over time, is if I am engaging in covert, emotional responding, that's not the time to give feedback. Wait. You need to wait. Otherwise things tend to go off rails. I don't communicate the way that I'd like. I've really liked the book, "Crucial conversations". When those conversations turn in the direction you don't expect, or sometimes they just appear. That has been really helpful too, in terms of, again, staying committed to the type of relationship you want to have and your long-term goals, but also addressing the situation in the moment.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (39:06):

You said three things that I just want to highlight for listeners that I think are so critical and have almost nothing to do with the trainee or the supervisee. You said pay attention to your own responding in terms of, is this a good time to give high quality feedback? You may be responding to the fact that someone did something that you think I've told them 50 times do it like this and that you're probably not in a good space to give high quality effective feedback, or at the very least you need to attend to that and purposefully choose to behave in a different way, right? Love that. Self-reflect, self-reflect, self-reflect. Then you also said that you are sort of evaluating the effects of your feedback every single time. Do they have an affect that suggests that this was to some degree an enjoyable interaction for them? Did they thank you? Other things that I look for are: Do they say, "Okay, great. So you're going to come observe me, or you're going to send me the article". Follow up things from the feedback. Those two things are so important. The other thing you said that I think is so brilliant, and I think if people weren't listening carefully, they could miss this. Your feedback, the parameters that you play around with when you're giving feedback. Are you saying some compassionate statement first to kind of ease into things? Or are you giving them the choice? Are you just hitting them with like, "Hey, all right. I think you're awesome.There's something that I really need to talk to you about." Maybe you're just jumping right into it. That depends on where you are in your relationship with that person, and it will change throughout your relationship. It's not going to be the same for a trainee on day one, day thirty, day 180. That's so important for listeners to understand. We're constantly evolving based on the outcomes and the evolution of our relationship. I'm so glad that you said that.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (41:24):

Absolutely and the fact that when you're giving feedback, you have to keep in mind that you have goals related their behavior and performance, and you have to have some goals related to sustaining the relationship and impacting that person in a way that maintains, sustains and even fosters the relationship. I think if you don't have your eye on both prizes, you might be so overly concerned about changing this behavior right now that you give away your opportunity to change all the other behaviors in the future. And once you do that, it's hard to recover it. Once you've been inadvertently harsh or been perceived as harsh, uncaring, dismissive, whatever it might be, and we've all had some of that kind of feedback and probably all unintentionally given some of that kind of feedback. It can be really difficult to recover the quality of that relationship. Having those two goals matters. Your thought about, let me think about how I'm feeling right now is really about, am I going to be able to meet that second goal related to the ongoing health of the relationship? If not, hold off on the first goal. Wait until you can accomplish both.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (43:06):

Unfortunately, I learned that by making mistakes and having supervisees say, "That didn't feel so good." Later they came to me and talked to me about it, but that is beautifully stated. You will risk the opportunity for future behavior change. You're right. Great. Tyra, you were way more eloquent in pointing out some of the things I was saying. So thank you for doing that for listeners.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (43:33):

Well, you said it all amazingly. I just want to highlight. That was like my vocal highlighter pen for everyone. In the book we do spend a little bit of time talking about different quote unquote types of feedback or names, praise versus corrective or supportive versus corrective or adequacy, diagnostic, and corrective. Do you think it's valuable, to talk about with our trainees, those different sort of flavors, specifically? Is it helpful and if so, why? How do we leverage those labels?

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (44:16):

I do. I don't know that we have to spend a ton of time on it. Scott Gellar also uses something different: Positive and supportive. The corrective is called supportive. I kind of like that.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (44:32):

I love that.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (44:34):

I've tried to shift my language toward that. I think it's helpful for the learning process. Really to me, it's about where the rubber meets the road and are you telling people how to change if they need to change and flagging what they're doing well, no matter what you call it.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (44:56):

Yeah. For me, I think it's useful in terms of getting away from like the F word as something bad, right? In terms of the idea that not only do I want to be effective in my feedback delivery with my trainees, but I want to teach them about feedback and how to use it. If we've talked about these different categories, I might be able to score in treatment integrity or procedural integrity, checklists, what kinds of feedback they're using within RBT or something like that, so that we can shift things if needed.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (45:34):

Yeah. That's a great point. You're right. Yep.

New Speaker (45:36):

I Love that. Thank you, Scott Gellar. I love that idea of flipping that, right? The supportive thing is the stuff that we're going to talk about that I need to figure out how to get you to do more of, or what have you.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (45:50):

Well, we're getting just to the end of our time together, which is clearly not been enough time.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (45:54):

Not at all.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (45:54):

Flo, it's been a pleasure having you on. Anything that you've got? I know you've got a new book out and anything you want to mention to folks that are out there listening.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (46:10):

We can link in the notes to all of those wonderful things.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (46:15):

I appreciate that. It's an intro textbook that I wrote with my best friend and partner, Derek Reed, as well as Dr. Greg Madden that was published. I'll send you the link. I did want to say one thing about your book. I've already raved about it and said that I think it's fantastic. The field desperately needed it. It's not just for supervision involving someone seeking a BCBA or BCABA. I've been using pieces of it with my graduate students who are consulting with agencies and I'm supervising their work and I'm behind the scenes helping them. Last night, I actually texted someone and said, "Hey, page whatever. Use that." We were talking earlier today. I'm teaching a behavioral consultation class in the fall and I'm going to be using pieces of it, particularly around problem solving some of those professional repertoires and behavioral consultants don't supervise in the same way, but a lot of the skills overlap. I'll be adopting it. I want listeners to know that it has broad applicability, and it's really a great and desperately needed resource for the field. I wanted to say thank you to both of you and your coauthor for creating such a great resource.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (47:33):

Well, we'll definitely pass that along to Shahla Ala'i-Rosales, our coauthor. Thank you for mentioning that. I actually, for my consulting company do a leadership training series, and it covers a lot of the topics that are in the book. I do think you're right. Those distinctions between supervisor, mentor, leader, affective manager. They blur a little bit in a good way, right? They blur together when you're doing it. That's a great suggestion to think about some of the different applicability. Well Flo, I suspect we're just going to need to have you back on again in the future.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (48:22):

That would be fun.

Dr. Linda LeBlanc (48:22):

Yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining us and thanks everyone for continuing to listen to The Lift. We'll see you in a future episode.

Dr. Tyra Sellers (48:35):

Thanks, everyone.

Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed (48:36):

Thank you.


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