“Coaching Supervision nurtures the coach from the inside out by creating an intentional space to explore deeply how I am showing up as a coach. My work with Sam and Coaching Supervision has allowed me to deepen my inquiry of how I am holding my clients in their uniqueness and, how to best support them while attending to the many complexities of life and humanness. Coaching Supervision is as elemental and necessary as healthy eating habits!” – Miryam Ch-R.
This wonderful internal coach has described the essential experience of coaching supervision. But how does it work and what is discussed during supervision?
Coaches who work with organizations, whether they are internal or external, are embedded in a wide array of unconscious interactions and conscious challenges. Regardless of how many years of experience a coach has, these factors can skew the focus and process of coaching. When the coach and client overlook certain everyday issues, the return on investment in coaching goes down.
One of the most common issues involves unconscious collusion and unconscious deference. This is not collusion in the legal sense or even in the extreme case of violating ethical codes. It is the unconscious nature of it that causes problems.
There are three easily identifiable forms.
Scenario One: The coach and client collude against the organization. Here, the two have taken sides in some sort of opposition to the company. The coach allows the client to project fault and blame on the organization. The coach, in effect, becomes a subtle rescuer for the client and avoids, for example, challenging the client to see his or her part in problems.
Scenario Two: The client and organization collude against the coach. If things are not going well in the coaching; if no progress is seen by either of these, it is very easy to blame the coach. More than one coach has become the scape goat for issues rooted in the system. If the coach becomes conscious of this phenomenon, he or she can bring the dynamic into the open, re-establish roles and responsibilities and aide in establishing functional relationships in the system.
Scenario Three: The coach and organization collude against the client. Most coaches have been hired by a manager or Human Resources to “fix” a “problem” employee. Unless the coach is fully alert to this possibility, he or she can be swept into a role that cannot be successfully fulfilled.
All three of these problems exist for both internal and external coaches. The role of the coach supervisor is to bring the dynamics to light through a variety of means which are not usually part of coach training. Especially with experienced coaches, once the issues are brought to light, no more work is needed in supervision……until next time. In the United Kingdom, there are placed in which one hour of supervision is required for every ten hours of coaching. This stuff happens!
Join me next time as we explore “Resourcing the Coach”.
About the author:
Sam Magill is a Master Certified Coach in the International Coach Federation and has practiced since 1990. He studied coaching supervision with the Coaching Supervision Academy, United Kingdom, in 2009 and 2010. He is now Co-Director of CSA – USA and, with colleagues, has recently begun offering the first accredited supervision training in North America. Sam has presented workshops and spoken in the UK, France, Canada, Lithuania and Australia. His clients reside in countries around the world. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at 425-787-0846 or through his website: www.sammagill.com.