What is Coaching Supervision? First let me say what it is NOT: It is not supervising in a management sense; it is not an evaluation process; it is not a critique of your work; it is not for ‘fixing’ anything about you or your coaching practice. Coaching supervision is the creation of a safe place and an affirmative environment for you to reflect on your practice, right now, with clients and challenges that you are currently experiencing with someone you respect and who is enthusiastic, committed and experienced. For you to have an ‘island of sanity’ to retreat to occasionally so that you and your practice flourish and your clients reap the benefits of a coach committed to their own continual learning. After all, we can’t observe ourselves except in relationship to others, as we all know.
What are the benefits of having your own coach supervisor? Some of which are:
- To re-energize your practice, learn new skills and creative coaching techniques
- To enjoy the collaboration of peers in a lonely profession
- To empty our minds and un-do our projections, together, to become more aware and mindful
- To unplug from the unrelenting focus on tasks and accountabilities and to focus on the fascinating human aspects of our work
- To improve our contracting with clients and proactively manage ethical challenges in a litigious world
In summary, there are 4 primary aspects to the coaching supervision process:
- The educational piece which involves learning new ideas, best practices, creative techniques for your practice
- The qualitative part which is always working toward ethical and professional standards of the profession and commitment to excellence
- The restorative piece which is the supportive, affirming, understanding, relationship element for a healthy re-set of energy and focus
- The systems perspective which is to include always the cultural context and organizational realities of all parties as well as the interwoven relationships
It is for this reason that experience in organization development and executive coaching in a variety of industries, and a well developed sense of psychological mindedness are helpful attributes of a good supervisor. However, supervision credentials are essential and hard to find in the U.S. as it is an emerging profession.
The first session is a conversation about how this process might be of benefit to you and ultimately your clients; to deepen your practice, develop your skills, identify directions and challenges, and address any other needs or concerns that you might have… it isn’t expensive and it isn’t self indulgent, either. It is good self-care.