The intention of coaching supervision is to provide a reflective space for coaches to understand and make meaning of their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviours within their client interactions, generating enhanced experiences and outcomes for the client. This includes the coach's professional development in relation to their coaching practice, ethical decision-making, and attending to their personal wellbeing.
Much of the work of a coach involves facilitating awareness with their client about the client's patterns, beliefs, blind spots, and stories, to support fundamental changes in the client's personal and professional life. Coaching supervision is a shift in focus for the coach from facilitating awareness for their client to the coach exploring the wider context of their own work, including the nature of their relationships, and their capacity for reflexive practice (the coach understanding who they are in the coaching relationship).
As the coach reflects on their coaching sessions, their personal awareness and objectivity with respect to their coaching relationships are heightened.
Coaching supervision offers a shared and safe thinking space to:
- Consider ethical dilemmas together – ethical situations are typically not clear cut so supervision can help work out the best options, and experiences can be shared in a co-creative way to find the best approach.
- Develop new practices, methods, and competencies – looking at all the possibilities and considering how the coach can best be of service to their client, as well as how the coach shows up or wants to show up.
- Resource the coach with attention to personal talents and successes, along with taking the time to consider the coach’s own wellbeing, restoring energy, and promoting connection with self.
WHO You Are, Is HOW You Coach
Coaching Supervision is sometimes referred to as Super-Vision, which seeks to describe the magnified perception the coach gains when they explore who they are in the coaching space and what influences their way of thinking and being.
Reflective Practice, Co-Visioning, Thought Partnering, and Co-Creating also describe the work that builds the coach's capacity to engage in a process of uncovering the lenses through which the coach views themselves and their coaching clients.
From this perspective, the purpose of supervision is to improve outcomes for clients. The coach develops a reflective process that supports continual personal and professional improvement, quality interventions, and ethical maturity, along with a focus on the coach’s own wellbeing and resilience.
Coaching supervision welcomes what is, in a respectful and accepting dialogue that is free from judgement. The supervisor shares experiences and offers new perspectives for the coach’s consideration. The opportunity exists to uncover blind spots and recognise personal stories, noticing how these can influence and impact client-coach relationships.
The relational presence of the supervisor supports exploration and profound thinking to cultivate the ability of self-observation, which develops the coach’s sense of WHO they are BEING in the coaching space.
Coaching Supervision offers a wide range of lenses through which the coach can consider their coaching relationships. These range from the coach noticing the client’s experience, to the dynamics that can play out in the coach-client relationship, to the broader influencing systems of the client's landscape.
Any topic to do with coaching; clients, other parties to the agreement, or the wider systems can be brought to supervision. Some examples:
- Doubtful about your coaching impact.
- Pondering an ethical dilemma such as a conflict of interest.
- Challenged by your inner dialogue.
- Curious as to your interactions with your clients
- Hesitant to try new techniques or approaches.
- Feeling frustrated with a client.
- Noticing a pattern in your coaching you would like to change.
- Curious as to your own biases and the impact of these.
Coaching supervision offers coaches the space to understand what is going on inside their own systems that influence how they show up, connect and engage, and bring value to their client relationships.
"Awareness is the greatest agent for change" - Eckhart Tolle