Seeking mature coaches who want to contribute to the profession

Why are some people drawn to provide coaching supervision?

As I go about recruiting participants for the Coaching Supervision Academy –USA certificate program, I’ve begun to notice a pattern among people who are interested. It makes sense and is revealing about supervision itself.

Age and experience – The people who are interested in providing coaching supervision are not beginners. In fact, they tend to be people who have had great coaching practices and are now taking a look forward – “Where do I want to go from here in my coaching practice?”

In my own case, I had taken a break from my normal routine and slowly unpacked what I most enjoyed about coaching-like work. I learned that I enjoy supporting people who help others. It might be called care for the care-givers. I also learned that I think coaching at its best is a wonderful force in the world. Then this image came to mind – an expanding network of connections and influence. I saw that if I helped a coach perform well and serve clients even better, then I could touch more leaders than if I worked directly with them. (I still enjoy leadership coaching also!) This fit my desire to be of service in the world and my desire to have a significant impact. So, as Sharon Daloz Parks famously framed Fredrick Beuchner’s work – vocation is where the hearts deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger. This is mine.

Supervision is an excellent fit for me as it seems to be for the people I know who offer professional coaching supervision. There is a depth and quality of inquiry in supervision that seems less often available in leadership coaching. There is an opening of heart and mind in service of clients.

To keep this brief – people who are interested in supervision training are typically interested in supporting the quality of coaching, in doing deep, reflective work with already skillful coaches and in taking time to step back from the fast pace of coaching to learn again and again. This seems to occur in the later parts of a coaching career, although especially wise mid-career coaches also make great supervisors.

If you want to contribute to the world of coaching as a mature practitioner who is looking to the future, let’s talk. Now accepting applications for January 2015 programs.

Why all the fuss at ICF about coaching supervision?

Why all the fuss in ICF over coaching supervision?

The most succinct answer is maturation of the profession of coaching.

When enough learning has accumulated in a profession, there is the possibility that some experienced practitioners become “big beginners”. I heard a story once about petroglyphs created by a certain indigenous people that depict stages of human development. There were four stages: baby, adolescent, adult and wise learner or big beginner. As explained to me, the big beginner is one who has a great deal of life experience and who also has the openness and curiosity of the baby – that amazing wide-eyed curiosity and openness to learning.

Coaching is quite well defined, has increasingly precise competencies, has multiple well-grounded theories and methods and has emerging research. What comes next, I believe, is deep wisdom. The work here goes beyond technique into a space of gentle and profound inquiry about ourselves, our relationships and our clients. It cannot be learned through instruction; it can be acquired through observation and reflection in a never ending dance of knowing and not knowing.

That the International Coach Federation has embraced Coaching Supervision for all levels of experience marks an important new phase – those who enter the world of super-vision can anticipate discoveries only available to the big beginner. Want to explore supervision? Contact me!