Small group supervision offers coaches and leaders the opportunity to reflect on specific clients and on who they are in the presence of those clients.
What is Coaching Supervision all about?
While Coaching Supervision is well known in Europe, it is just emerging in North America. Fundamentally, supervision for coaches provides increased self-awareness of the coach-in-practice. Three very practical aspects of coaching are addressed:
- Continuing professional development through disciplined reflection and feedback.
- Reinforcing professional standards and best practice through attention to ethics, boundaries, methods.
- Restorative support by stepping into a safe space away from the stresses of coaching.
As part of the practice of coaching supervision, three key areas are emphasized.
Equilibrium: As a coach, you are in a helping profession and you must relate to your clients and build an environment of trust, openness, safety, and curiosity. At times, this can be challenging and, if you have a substantial client portfolio, tiring. Ever had a client with whom you struggled—where you anticipated some meetings with a hint of reluctance? My assessment? You are human. In supervision, we work together to help surface these issues so you can navigate through your feelings and distinguish them from those of your clients. How is your energy for coaching these days? Being in good personal equilibrium is essential for good coaching.
Ethics: Coaches often get caught between conflicting roles and expectations, especially when they work in organizational settings. Sometimes we over- or under-identify with clients; and sometimes the limits of your responsibilities as a coach are challenged. It is not unusual, for example, for a coach—even an experienced one—to slide into confusing her/his objectives and standards for the client’s. Are you aware of when that happens? Political situations and relationships impact the coach and the coaching relationship. How do you manage it all? Ethics is more than appropriate physical and financial boundaries; it has to do with on-going distinctions about our roles, our responsibilities, and our emotional boundaries.
Effectiveness: Are you succeeding as a coach? Are your clients getting the results they desire? There are many ways of assessing overall effectiveness; all of them depend on the quality and clarity of your contract. Another consideration is effectiveness in the moment. What do you do when something doesn’t go well? When you don’t know what to do? Supervision offers the opportunity to reflect on coaching sessions in a disciplined, learning-oriented way to address these and other issues. You might ask yourself who is working harder, you or your client? If it’s you, it might be time for a tune up.
Coaching supervision can look like:
- Individual sessions by telephone or in person. Contracts are generally for six months, one session per month. After building a partnership, supervision-on-call can be arranged in which we address recent or upcoming coaching that presents a challenge.
- Group supervision in person. Groups of up to eight coaches meet on a regular basis to review cases and explore coaching challenges. The supervisor guides the conversations, but, as the group develops, more and more support is obtained from colleagues.
- In house supervision for organizations with internal coaches. Contracts for supervision can be arranged for scheduled work much like group supervision and on a retainer basis to support the overall coaching effort in the organization.
I love to help coaches achieve their own greatness in service of their clients. While I won’t promise to know what is best for you, I do promise to be your partner in helping you be the most effective coach you can be. My role is to help re-generate your own internal supervisor and your own self-reflection capability. Experienced coaches who undertake supervision tell me their understanding of self and of coaching is greatly increased.
Groups meet for 3 hours once per month for six months. The cost is $1500 each with a possible reduction if fees are entirely paid before the group begins.
Dates: Registration for the first session is open until December 20th. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to register or visit my website for additional details.