Listening and Silence in Supervision

  • Inger UllebergEmail author
  • Per Jensen
Part of the Focused Issues in Family Therapy book series (FIFT)


This chapter deals with the listening in supervision, both from the supervisor and the supervisees. When someone speaks, the others listen. When someone asks a question one or more of the others answer, out loud or silently to themselves. All conversations are transactions between the persons who participate, and all contribute with their bare presence, with their glances and smiles, their listening, their questions and their understanding. The dynamic in a conversation is between asking, listening and bringing new contributions into the conversation.

Analytically, we can distinguish participation in conversations in terms of three different activities; listening, asking questions and answering, commenting, or contributing. In this chapter, we will look more closely at one of the three different elements, the listening. The elements can be studied by looking at videos of games, and they can be learned through different exercises in training. We will look more closely at the contribution from the communication theory, CMM, Coordinated Management of Meaning before we explore the concept of listening and some sides of silence in supervision. We want primarily to direct attention toward the supervisor’s positions and tasks, but also have in mind that meta-learning through supervision is of great importance and that it can be made explicit now and then. We will explore different ways of listening and also investigate the silence, timing, pauses and tempo in supervision.


Listening Participant CMM Silence Tempo Pauses 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education and International Studies, Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher EducationOslo and Akershus University College of Applied SciencesOsloNorway
  2. 2.Family Therapy Section, Faculty of Social StudiesVID Specialized UniversityOsloNorway

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