What is Coach Supervision?
Coaching supervision is a reserved time for facilitating a coach’s in-depth reflection on their practice with a Coaching Supervisor. Supervision offers a confidential framework within a collaborative working relationship in which the practice, tasks, process and challenges of the coaching work can be explored. The primary aim of supervision is to enable the coach to gain in ethical competency, confidence and creativity so as to ensure best possible service to the coaching client, both coachees and coaching sponsors. Supervision is not a ‘policing’ role, but rather a trusting and collegial professional relationship. Coach supervision is a critical part of coach development. It invites to a journey where the coach becomes more self aware of their practice and their inner process when coaching.
Let’s look at some definitions about Coach Supervision.
Supervision is the interaction that occurs when a coach brings their coaching work experiences to a supervisor in order to be supported and to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach, their clients, and their organisations.
Coaching Supervision focuses on the development of the coach’s capacity through offering a richer and broader opportunity for support and development. Coaching Supervision creates a safe environment for the coach to share their successes and failures in becoming masterful in the way they work with their clients.
International Coaching Federation
Coaching supervision is a formal process of professional support, which ensures continuing development of the coach and the effectiveness of his/her coaching practice through interactive reflection interpretative evaluation, and the sharing of expertise.
Bachkirova, Stevens & Willis (2005)
Coaching supervision is a collaborative process facilitating coaches (and coach supervisors) to grow their reflective practice with a view to continuous improvement and professional development, client safety and the strengthening of professional identity. The process considers the entire system surrounding the supervisee and their client work and seeks to bring value to all those stakeholders connected to that work.
Clutterbuck, Whitaker & Lucas (2016)
Forms and Content of Supervision
Supervision can be provided in a one-to-one or group setting, either face-to-face or virtually.
The work may include:
- Gaining new insights and learning: exploration and discussions can provide alternative perspectives that add to the coach’s way of thinking about their practice and identify new ways to proceed with a client.
- Tackling topics that emerge from practice: supervision can help the coach develop greater awareness, knowledge, sensitivity and judgement.
- Connecting knowledge and skills learned in training with practice and reflection from real client practice.
- Increased self-awareness: better understanding of themselves as a coach and the coaching relationship to help reframe their perspectives on challenges and issues.
- Building confidence as a coach: provides an opportunity to connect with another coaching professional, to explore self-doubt, or when feeling ‘stuck’ with a challenging case.
- Providing a sounding board that listens to their coaching issues and that can help the coach develop their capacity and capability as a coach.
- Encouraging the coach to continue to grow and engage in further professional development.
- Encouraging a more deliberate approach to reflective practice.
- Restoring emotional energy: the restorative function of supervision creates a safe haven for a coach to openly express their concerns and frustrations. They can also process personal feelings or issues that may impact how they interact with their clients.