Detect the Differences That Can Give You An Edge

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The Coaching Supervision Academy (CSA) is a leading UK-based provider of coaching supervision training and practical supervision support.

Renowned, accredited and long-established, the CSA delivers CPD courses for coaches, alongside supervision to both organizations and individuals. Our approach is uniquely personal and our programs are tailored around individual participants – because, in the words of founder Edna Murdoch, we believe: “who we are is how we coach”.

Opportunity to Extend Your Coaching Professionalism

The 9 month US program is an ICF Approved Program (62.5 CCEU’s) and is accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). It’s designed for experienced coaches who wish to have a recognized qualification in Coaching Supervision. The program centers on creating a lively professional partnership with coaches; one in which they can significantly develop their range and capabilities as a coach and supervisor and return to their work resourced and stimulated. It is highly experiential in its approach while still being supported by teaching and practice in the most current supervision theories and models. There is also a significant reading list and a compilation of relevant articles. Using a blended learning approach, the 8 face-to-face days are enriched by out of class work in triads, teleseminars, and applying the rich program material with other coaches – all while guiding and supporting the individual coach’s journey and professional development through individual tutorials and supervision. Competencies and confidence are enhanced. Unconscious dynamics present in coaching are made conscious so that they can be managed.

The Program Covers Conceptual Tools

CSA’s Full Spectrum Model of Coaching Supervision, which incorporates Hawkins & Smith’s 7-eyed model of Coaching Supervision, covers tools such as:

  • Use of Self in supervision
  • Coaching Psychology
  • Relational Psychology
  • Organizations as systems
  • Working with Image and Metaphor
  • Ethics and standards
  • Multi party contracting
  • Working with supervision Groups

Meta Skills Utilized

Multi-dimentional Presence work which utilizes the seminal ideas of Senge et al (U Theory),

  • Psychodynamic Perspectives
  • Working with the Field
  • Building the Internal Supervisor
  • Accessing intuition
  • Creative Perspectives in Supervision

U.S. Program Dates

We are pleased to say that the first offering of this program will begin September 20, 2013 and that the program is completely filled.

All spots for 2013 are SOLD OUT‼ The three modules of the next program will occur on the following dates:

September 18, 19 and 20, 2014
January 16, 17, and 18, 2015
May 15, 16, and 17  2015

Location is yet to be determined. Sessions are planned for both west and east coasts of the United States.

Apply Now!

Download the Coaching Supervision Academy Application

Polishing Your Internal Mirror

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When I was ten years old, I was given a three-inch reflecting telescope – the kind in which a concave mirror focuses light, bounces it into a series of mirrors and ultimately into the eyepiece. I could see the moon as if I was holding it in my hand.

Now a telescope is being constructed on Mauna Kea in Hawaii that will have a 30-metre mirror! Why spend huge amounts of money, intelligence and passion to build a bigger mirror? Just this: to see beyond what our everyday eyes can see.

Isn’t that a big part of what we do as coaches? We help our clients see what they have not seen about their environments, goals, lives, and possibilities.

A challenge in building giant telescopes is that earth’s gravitational pull distorts the huge mirrors enough to create inaccurate images. Care must be taken to continually adjust the mirrors, and to prevent the slightest dirt from damaging the reflection.

Reflective Practice Highlights Distortions in Coaching

Consider these instances:

  1. A coach became frustrated with his client’s progress toward agreed-upon objectives. The coach’s intense values about completing objectives had prevented him from recognizing that his client’s world had changed dramatically during the engagement. Distortion: substituting his values for his client’s.
  2. Another coach felt she and the client were swirling around, yet the client was pleased with the monthly conversations. Nothing changed. Distortion: a shared difficulty in prioritizing.
  3. Another coach was working with a young executive. After the executive received difficult feedback from her CEO, the coaching relationship deteriorated. Through supervision, the coach realized he was unconsciously caring for the executive as if he was her father. Distortion: blurring of personal/professional boundaries.

Challenging Theories in Action

Reflective practice opens ourselves to fresh information about what we see, feel, think, want and do. It calls us to see ourselves and our clients as accurately as possible before, during and after the coaching conversation. In short, it is a process of polishing and correcting our mirrors. Why is this important beyond initial coach training?

In ICF-approved programs, we learn 11 competencies and related skills and behaviors. Both Donald Schon, in “Educating the Reflective Practitioner”, and Grady McGonagill in “The Coach as Reflective Practitioner,” observe that this process provides us with “espoused theories” as distinct from “theories in action”. The latter are the theories, and by extension behaviors, which we actually apply in the moment of coaching. Schon and others observed that professional workers described their work one way and actually did it another way. Reflective practice helps bring espoused and in-action knowledge closer together over time and it is never complete because our mirrors, like those on Mauna Kea, are constantly shifting.

How can we develop a reflective practice? One approach is to work with a person trained in guiding reflective practice.  In the world of coaching, this person is referred to as a Coaching Supervisor, someone with substantial understanding of both coaching competencies and additional experience with coaching psychology, dynamics of relationships, and various tools for deep reflection. As a result of this work, an “internal supervisor” develops within us to observe our coaching in real time and keep the mirrors clean and aligned.

Reflective Exercises

Find a mirror, physical or in your mind. Take a moment and gaze into your reflection: What do you feel good about in your coaching?

What is unsettling in your coaching right now? A client session that didn’t go as planned? A client relationship that is suddenly not as comfortable as it was?

What distortions might be creeping into your mirrors? Fatigue? Fast pace? Surety rather than curiosity?

What boundaries are in need of attention? Might you be performing roles that are not yours to perform? Are you trying too hard to make your client happy?

What other questions are you sitting with and where could you go for answers?

Attending regularly to these questions will attune you to the benefits of reflective practice.


This article was written by Sam Magill, Sr. and published in the April/May 2012 issue of Coachlink magazine

Being Human

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I have worked with leaders who want to dive below the surface of quick answers in order to look at patterns, relationships and cultural habits that dampen organization effectiveness. Although I have taught many workshops over the years, my interest now is sustained coaching relationships in which my clients and I know and trust each other enough to do real work. Leaders regard me as skillful, insightful and authentic. My experience in working with leaders has gained me the following insights.

Part of leadership is about observation.

I’m amazed at how little leaders know about their own organizations. We must get better at seeing – just as the old naturalists learned to see the world with fresh eyes every time they went walking. A big part of my work focuses on helping people see and hear what is happening. I can tell you many stories about how listening to the subtle nuance of communication has helped increase effectiveness. Similarly, I have learned to look at situations with my camera in hand and ask, “What wants to be seen here?” In our organizations, I believe people are crying to be seen, to be heard, to be involved in effective ways. That’s what I want to help clients do.

Part of leadership is about doing something.

According to Ronald Heifetz, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the purpose of leadership is to mobilize people to collectively affect positive change on crucial and often complex issues.

Yet, getting from ideas to action is often a breakdown point for leaders. I’m interested in the chain of relationships among people that allows work to get done. Getting things done requires having the right conversation at the right time, knowing how to make effective requests, knowing how to keep work going once it starts and knowing how to gather in the results of effort – not just the bottom line, but for each person who contributes in their particular way. It also involves letting go of methods and ideas that no longer serve.

All of it is about being human.

There are a lot of efforts these days to find some common ground on which communities and organizations can be built and sustained. We spend countless dollars and euros and pesos dealing with the effects of not having common ground, but finding it is really quite simple. The fact is we are all human. What a concept! That is our common ground and once we figure that out, we can get on with addressing the enormous challenges we have in communities and organizations across this tiny globe. This business of being human crosses all the boundaries of communities, countries, and organizations. Doctors, farmers, field workers, teachers, politicians, CEO’s – underneath all our situations and titles, we’re pretty much the same. Let’s get on with important work that honors all human beings.