We have passed the halfway point of our discussion on what to look for in a behavior analytic supervisor! Up to this point, we’ve covered three of the six characteristics of a top-notch supervisor. Before we proceed with the fourth characteristic, let’s briefly review the discussion up to this point. An excellent behavior analytic supervisor is a MENTOR. It is important that your supervisor 1) measures your skills through demonstrated competencies, 2) exhibits expertise in your area of interest, and 3) navigates you through a competency-based and structured curriculum. The fourth characteristic of a great supervisor is:
Tests your behavioral repertoire at the onset to identify strengths/weaknesses.
This characteristic is closely tied to characteristic 1 (measures your skills through demonstrated competencies), as your supervisor should test your behavioral repertoire by measuring your accurate demonstration of relevant skills. Testing ones behavior analytic repertoire is also closely related to characteristic 3 (navigates you through a competency-based and structured curriculum), as the skills to be tested should be part of the structured supervision curriculum.
The distinction of this fourth characteristic is related to when the activities associated with characteristics 1 and 3 occur. It is important that your supervisor assess your abilities at the beginning of your supervision experience. The thorough and adequate assessment of your current abilities and competencies ensures that you will get the most out of your supervision experience. Assessing your skills at the onset of supervision is done for the purposes of creating a baseline measure to compare your future progress against. It will enable your supervisor to spend time targeting skills and concepts that need strengthening. It will also prevent your supervisor from wasting time on unnecessary instruction. Essentially, your supervisor’s engagement in this activity provides an additional layer of structure to the already structured supervision curriculum.
Are you wondering exactly how your supervisor might initially test your behavioral repertoire? You should look for your supervisor to do the following:
- Measure your performance of specific skills within the curriculum at the beginning of the supervision process.
- Record this initial performance as a baseline measure.
- Create goals tied to your baseline performance and desired end performance.
- While progressing through a structured supervision curriculum, teach skills deficits and skip those demonstrated with competence.
- Track your progress/ skill acquisition throughout the supervision experience.
- Compare your progress to your baseline performance.
BAM Network is getting you closer to identifying the necessary six characteristics of an excellent supervisor. Stay tuned as we continue the discussion. Characteristic 5 is up next!