Department of Public Health and Human Services

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VISTA Supervision

Things That You Do, or Don’t Do, That Can Undo Your VISTA/Site Supervisor Relationship

  1. Avoiding or being too busy to meet regularly with your VISTA for direction/clarification/setting expectations will hinder motivation and follow through.
  2. Neglecting to communicate the VISTA’s role and purpose to other staff in the organization creates confusion for everyone.  Make sure that they are not referred to as “cheap labor.”
  3. Racial slurs and/or assumptions made by anyone in the organization will come back to bite you very quickly and your relationship is probably beyond repair if this occurs.
  4. Office humor and poking fun at someone or an issue might not be humorous to a VISTA – find out how the VISTA perceives humor.
  5. Excusing yourself, or disengaging from VISTA/Site Supervisor Community Building Institute training communicates  to the VISTA that public resources for training and their time are not valued.
  6. Keep your door open as much as possible.  A closed door says, “Don’t bother me.”
  7. Let your VISTA do what they are suppose to do – don’t micromanage and don’t do their job for them.
  8. Most VISTAs are open to and appreciate constructive feedback, but make sure you provide specific suggestions for improvement and stay positive.
  9. A little recognition goes a long way.  When a VISTA does a good job on something, acknowledge it.  Also, avoid taking personal credit for the work a VISTA does.
  10.  When possible, expose them to learning opportunities that will help develop their skills and interests.