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What is Coaching Supervision?

I emerge from every session having had new insights and new perspectives, feeling more resourceful, having had profound learning.

Lindsay Wittenberg, Executive CoachNext

What are the Central Tasks of Coaching Supervision?

  • Clear Contracting  – multi-party contracting where appropriate.
  • Ensuring that standards and ethics are maintained.
  • Establishing good boundaries.
  • Enhancing reflectivity – working with content and process.
  • Attending to the Coach’s Personal Development.
  • Creating the Working Alliance.
  • Deepening Coaching Presence.
  • Building the Internal Supervisor.
  • Offering new perspectives to the coach.
  • Increasing the coach’s interventions and tools.
  • Being sensitive to the coach’s Learning and Coaching Style.
  • Teaching about Coaching Psychology.
  • Working with Parallel Process.
  • Developing systemic thinking.
  • Giving constructive feedback.
  • Providing the coach with new tools.
  • Creating experiments through which the coach can learn.
  • Offering educative and restorative support to the coach.
  • Working systemically – with coach, client and the wider field.
  • Opening up new areas of competence for the coach.

One way of identifying what supervision does is to think of it as a process of Reflection, Insight and Support. This way of understanding Coaching Supervision underlines the fact that supervision enhances ‘seeing’, the seeing into one’s practice, the illumination of subtle processes in coaching conversations and of blind spots in oneself and in one’s thinking. ‘Supervision’ is then something that I, the coach, take away with me – an enhanced view, a super-vision of my practice.

Supervision can be a place where a living profession breathes and learns.

Hawkins and Shohet, 'Supervision in the Helping professions'Next

Coaching Supervision – a relational practice

Coaching Supervision understands that while the observable business of coaching is going on – meetings, contracting, outlining coaching programmes, coaching sessions – it is people who do the talking and thus, who and how we are in the conversation, affects outcomes. This ‘who and how we are’ piece is mostly unobservable from the outside, but can have significant impact on effectiveness.

How does Coaching Supervision help?

A process of reflection with a Coach Supervisor helps the coach to become aware of relevant strengths and weaknesses and to become stronger and more confident across a range of conversations. CS explores and clarifies what goes on in these relationships and conversations and enables coaches to be intelligent about creating effective conversation in every ‘coaching moment’.

The CSA team bring huge experience and dedication to all their enterprises and I have personally benefited from their work.

Marianne Craig, MCCNext

Coaches in supervision often refer to the relief of having time and space to think about particular aspects of their work and especially to think/reflect with a trusted colleague who will microscopically explore practice with them and contribute to their understanding. This support enables the coach to contain and resolve some of the more challenging parts of their work:

  • their frustrations with coachees
  • their concern that they are not doing enough
  • the difficulty of keeping to a coaching contract when the coaching ‘flow’ is going off piste  the undue influence of the organisation (often implicit) or of key stakeholders which might reduce coach effectiveness (power/disempowerment)
  • unexpected emotional material either within the coach or in the coachee
  • ‘ruptures’ in the coaching relationship

I have a place to go to voice concerns or frustrations when I'm struggling with a client…

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There are several models that can guide these explorations – you can read about them here.

Thankyou CSA! I just wanted to say thank you for the supervision programme. As an executive coach I have discussed a number of challenges with you. Your feedback, insight and support have been invaluable. I have been able to take away practical approaches to use with my clients and have also developed my own coaching style and level of awareness. Thank you for your sponsorship and challenge.

Caroline Montague, DBM Executive CoachNext
  • Random Quote

    I receive the professional care and support I hope I offer my clients – it allows me to be a better coach, it allows me to be heard so that I can hear my clients.

    Susan Ingram, Full Potential GroupNext