P17 - Supervising from Strength to Strengths

Day Day 1
Session Poster presentation
Start time 18:10
Code P17

Associate Professor Tracy Riley, Dean, Research, Massey University


Supervision of postgraduate research is the highest form of teaching, but how do supervisors differentiate their supervision in response to students’ strengths? The assessment for entry process, research performance and confirmation event gives some indication of academic and research readiness, but does not necessarily indicate one’s full potential to succeed. Strengths@Massey facilitates students’ discovery of their underlying strengths that underlie their capabilities to build relationships, think strategically, excite plans and influence others. Postgraduate researchers at Massey University, New Zealand assess their strengths using the Clifton StrengthsFinder, workshop with ethic peers and receive coaching before joining a facilitated discussion with their supervisors to reveal and discuss their strengths. Supervisor and student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with students and supervisors indicating changes to supervisory patterns of interaction and engagement, productivity, and motivation. From our experience at Massey, we are discovering that by unlocking postgraduate students’ strengths and using those abilities and qualities to open up conversations with supervisors, a strengths-based model of supervision emerges.