About Coaching Supervision

About Coaching Supervision

 ‘When a supervisee comes to supervision, both people will be changed by the relationship and the conversation that happens between them. (Supervision).. is a place for everyone in the system to be thought about or held in mind. It is a place to have deep conversations; it is a place to think creatively with a joined heart/mind perspective.’ Joan Wilmot

Edna Murdoch
CSA Founder


When you hire a coach supervisor, you want someone who will accompany you, and create a reflective space in which you can become curious about all aspects of your work and take your learning and development to another level.


One way of describing what coaching supervision does is to think of it as a process of Reflection, Insight and Support. 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. Super-vision is then something that you, the coach, take away – an enhanced view, a super-vision of your practice.’   ‘Reflection and Insight’ point to the range of learning which emerges as a result of sustained, supervisory focus on a piece of coaching, a coaching theme, contracting, or on a particular aspect of your current style.  The ‘Support’ of coaching supervision is often overlooked; coaches in supervision regularly comment on the level of relief they experience because they have a safe, reflective space in which to explore their work. The deep dive of skilled support is a crucial piece in transforming practice.


Coaching supervision develops awareness of ‘the lens through which we look’ and how to use this awareness to enhance our impact in sessions. Supervision with individual coaches brings into focus the effects of dynamics in the space between our coachees and ourselves and the key elements in the wider system of the coaching conversation. As a result, we can begin to look beyond content to context – relational, organisational, cultural and economic contexts. These subtly and powerfully influence every coaching conversation. Newly acquired insights and skills bring elegance and impact to our work. B Critchley reminds us: ‘Change happens in the crucible of relationship”. This level of relational awareness and understanding supports supervisees to move from transactional, functional coaching to deep and transformative conversations that acknowledge the impact of the living, relational, systemic field of coaching.



Benefits of Coaching Supervision

‘Supervision is a place where a living profession breathes and learns…supervision can be a very important part of taking care of oneself, staying open to new learning’ 


Hawkins and Shohet


Edna Murdoch
CSA Founder


Through skilled dialogue, creative interventions and collaborative learning, coaches, mentors and supervisors in supervision, have a space in which to reflect on and deepen all areas of their practice. Supervision may for example, focus on tough ethical dilemmas, boundary management, and contractual issues - or on how to work better with ‘difficult’ coachees or resolve a ‘critical incident’ with a coachee.


In other sessions, supervisees explore aspects of personal development so as to deepen and extend their range – eg supervisees become less entangled with coachees’ ‘games’ or to deal more quickly and effectively with the impact of challenging behaviour. In all of this, supervision will be enabling the coach to become more self-aware (‘the lens through which they look’) and to learn how to use that awareness in service of their work.  Key to this process, is supporting coaches to value and use their own Internal Supervisor – the ‘one’ who gets immediate cognitive, somatic and intuitive data and who is often under used.


Supervision sessions will offer creative experiments to enhance learning – eg using role-play, cards or Gestalt exercises to illuminate significant unconscious processes or systemic factors.  Always, there will be new learning – new perspectives, interventions and skills.


Coach supervisors work with and in, complex conversations all the time. They are trained to notice and work with subtle influences in dialogue, both conscious and unconscious. In short, they have excellent relational skills.



‘In the learning environment called supervision, it’s the supervisor who accommodates, who moves, who adapts to the learning needs of the supervisees…. ‘


Carroll - Supervision as Transformation’


Choosing a Coach Supervisor


It is very important that you feel comfortable with your supervisor  – comfortable and safe enough to have a conversation in which all areas of your work can be explored and in which you can develop, personally and professionally. Supervision will inevitably touch on our vulnerabilities and so supervisors are trained to challenge without threatening development or learning. 


As a rough guide, here are some qualities and capacities that a supervisor will need:




  • Have a recognised qualification in coaching supervision
  • Be in touch with developments the field of coaching
  • Have knowledge of corporate life and organizational systems.
  • Have significant level of psychological understanding
  • Have sensitivity to the learner’s situation and to different learning styles.
  • Be skilled in generative dialogue
  • Have ability to work with different coaching styles.
  • Have minimum of 3 years practice as coach or coach mentor
  • Demonstrate highest ethical and professional standards
  • Demonstrate that their work has been professionally supervised over a number of years.


Supervision is an opportunity to bring someone back to their own mind, to show them how good they can be.


Nancy Kline


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.
  • Increasing coaches’ capacity for generative dialogue
  • 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.


How does Coaching Supervision help?

Edna Murdoch
CSA Founder


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. Coaching supervision 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’.


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 coaches and with themselves
  • working with complex ethical dilemmas
  • 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


Supervision for Internal Coaches


CSA has many years’ experience delivering supervision to groups of Internal Coaches and/or to individual internal coaches.


Our highly experienced faculty offer this supervision globally, both on-line and face-to-face. Contact Mike at mike@csa.uk.net for further information.


We also deliver a 2/3-day Training in Supervision Skills for coaches in organisations, education and social services. This is a specific training for organisations that want to set up peer supervision groups for their internal coaches. It is an excellent and cost- effective way to ensure the development of internal coaches and to equip them with new skills and with a much better understanding of the unique aspects of coaching within an organisation. These aspects often compromise the impact of coaching within organisations.


Organisations have quite varied supervision requirements, so please contact us (mike@csa.uk.net)  about your requirements. We work flexibly and design supervision programmes to suit large and small companies.



  • their frustrations with coaches and with themselves
  • working with complex ethical dilemmas
  • 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


CSA Supervision Groups

CSA supervisors offer group supervision for supervisors, internal coaches and for coaches, leaders and teams who want to utilise the powerful learning and development available through group supervision. All of the accredited supervisors on this site are trained in group supervision.

Group supervision can occur in various ways: face-to-face or on Zoom. If you would like to establish a face-to-face group in your area or in your organisation, you can contact the supervisor nearest you– see the list of accredited supervisors.

If you want to be kept in touch with new groups when these are being organised, please register for our newsletter