Supervising Dynamically

Using ACT in BCBA Supervision
16 Learning CEs including 3 ethics and 3 supervision

This series with an assertion: You already know how to be a great supervisor and leader. Here’s the problem. Knowing doesn’t matter. Knowing doesn’t change that you’re a human being and your performance is subject to all the laws and principles you’re expected to apply to others. What you “ought to do” isn’t always the easy thing to do, and human beings, through millions of years of evolution, are designed to do the easy thing.

This makes it hard to:
• Have difficult conversations that make a difference,
• Deal effectively with uncooperative and upset supervisees,
• Implement the practices that reduce burnout and resignation while promoting passionate engagement in one’s work.

This course is less about “what to do” and more about identifying personal barriers to using what you already know through Acceptance and Commitment Training, a powerful set of practices for developing yourself as such a supervisor.

In this eight-session course, you will explore yourself as a supervisor and develop your supervision practices from within an ACT framework. Applying core ACT processes such as mindful awareness, defusion, acceptance, and values, you’ll identify situations where you get thwarted in what you “know to do,” and learn to deal powerfully with challenging situations.

Even parts educational and experiential, you’ll learn the basic processes of ACT and then apply this coaching and training in to your supervision. The results are an expanded capacity for training and developing your supervisees in a way that experientially connects them to the difference they make and fosters their continued growth and development as behavioral practitioners.

In this course, you will deal with your own humanity, what thwarts you in your commitments, and develop practices for reframing situations you find challenging so that you can:
• Use performance management conversations as opportunities for growth – both for you and the people you supervise.
• Communicate in ways that inspires your supervisees, emphasizing the positive reinforcers of their work and the difference you and they are out to make.
• Be the supervisor you want to be. Not the one you feel stuck being.

About the facilitator

Scott Herbst, Ph.D., BCBA got his doctorate at the University of Nevada, Reno where he studied Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), Relational Frame Theory (RFT), and Acceptance and Commitment Training. His ACT training beyond the classroom includes experiential workshops with Steven Hayes, Ph.D., and Kelly Wilson, Ph.D., two of the authors of the original ACT text. As a graduate student, he facilitated workshops targeting stigma and is a co-author of numerous ACT publications. He has since designed and facilitated dozens of experiential ACT workshops that participants reliably report make a profound difference in areas of personal importance including relationships, career, leadership, family, and leisure.

Logistics, Meeting Dates & Times

This course follows a cohort model with options for live or a-synchronous learning. Live meetings take place on zoom at dates and times listed below. During live meetings, there are opportunities to practice learned skills with other learners. Anyone who participates live will also have access to asynchronous content.

Asynchronous learning is delivered and tracked through content modules via our learning platform. Content is created for an asynchronous experience, with exercises specifically tailored for this platform.

Participants have the option to attend any combination of live and asynchronous but will only earn CE for one. You will have access to all materials for one year, however, must complete continuing education requirements within 6 months of the beginning of the cohort.

Dates and times of open courses

October 2022 Series
Wednesdays 8pm EST / 7pm CST / 6pm MST / 5pm PST
October 12 & 19
November 2, 9, 14 & 30
December 7 & 14

November 2022 Series
Mondays 12pm EST / 11am CST / 10am MST / 9am PST
November 21 & 28
December 5, 12 & 19
January 9, 16 & 25

Syllabus Sessions:

Session 1 – Course Orientation and Overview

In this session learners orient to the course. We introduce some fundamental properties of the behavior of language, introduce and begin to apply ACT processes. Learners begin practicing the first fundamental communication skill: reading the feedback people give during communication exchanges.

Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to explain how mindfulness and willingness relate to the behavioral principle of negative reinforcement.

2. Participants will be able to explain how values relates to the behavioral principle of positive reinforcement.

3. Participants will identify two things people do when they are heard and when they are not heard.

Session 2 – Accountability as Empowerment and The Performance Matrix

Here we begin exploring how we relate to accountability and begin applying ACT to move from a view of being accountable as “the right” or “good” way to be, and practice relating to it in terms of workability. This will serve as the basis for providing accountability as a source of freedom and empowerment. We also introduce and begin to work with “The Matrix,” a tool for identifying what matters, the actions that will fulfill that, and the circumstances (including our own thoughts and feelings) that move us away from valued action and rob us of power and aliveness. Learners also practice key communication skills for evoking problem-solving in coaching interactions.

Objectives:

1. Participants will identify some of the predictable outcomes of relating to promises in terms of “good”, “bad”, “right”, and “wrong”.

2. Using the Matrix, participants will complete a self-assessment of one behavior controlled by avoidance and identify one values-consistent action.

Session 3 – Rules and Where They Fail

Here we deepen our work with the Matrix by and investigate the degree to which what we say about the world – our verbal behavior – influences our actions towards and experience of our clients, supervisees, superiors, and selves. We focus on identifying ineffective rules, discovering how they impact our performance, and begin the practices of acting more flexibly towards what matters. Learners will also practice the next component skill of communication – evoking listener feedback.

Objectives:

1. Participants will provide one example of a self-generated rule and describe how it influences avoidance responding as it relates to supervision.

2. Participants will practice evoking listener feedback and identify whether the listener is being heard or not.

Session 4 – The Self

In this session, we explore the fundamental nature of self and engage in powerful exercises to identify the content that makes up who we generally consider ourselves to be. Learners will identify rigid behavioral patterns that emerge around this way of relating to self. Learners will also practice the next aspect of communication – identifying emotional behavior.

Objectives:

1. Participants will explain self-as-content in behavioral terms.

2. Participants will state relationships between their own self-concept behavior and their overt behavior, including situations they move toward and away from.

Session 5 – Turning Outward

We complete our conversation for having conversations for accountability. Then, having dealt sufficiently with what stops us as supervisors, we now turn toward implementing practices to empower others. Learners practice speaking in a values-consistent way as a means to open doors to communication. We also practice relating to others in terms of values and commitment.

Objectives:

1. Participants will practice a conversation to restore a sense of self as being whole and complete.

2. Participants will construct a statement that connects activity in the present to values and commitment.

Session 6 – Being an Environment for Employee Growth

Empowering others is learned behavior. It involves practicing the skills where people deal authentically with their own barriers to performance. In this session, learners put together all communication skills to practice evoking problem-solving behavior.

Objectives:

1. Participants will define listening and identify its effects on speaker behavior.

2. Participants will practice communicating such that a speaker has the experience of being fully heard.

Session 7 – Performance Management and Coaching

The hardest part of supervising is providing meaningful feedback that makes a difference when improvement is necessary. In this session, we identify the structure for having performance management conversations that motivate improvement and leave supervisees heard, respected, and interested in closing the gap in performance.

Objectives:

1. Participants will identify three behaviors to demonstrate during an effective performance-management conversation.

2. Participants will identify three behavioral outcomes of an effective coaching conversation.

Session 8 – Using the Matrix in Coaching and Moving Forward

Nothing in this course is a magic pill that will make you a great supervisor. What you learned were behaviors. With practice, you will get better. However, what will make practice take hold is an environment that supports you. In this final session, we turn our eye toward creating relationships where these practices will be more natural. We also practice using the Matrix with others to elevate their performance.

Objectives:

1. Participants will practice conversations to identify their own and others’ values.

2. Participants will practice using the Matrix during supervision and coaching conversations.

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