This is a personal view and story about coaching supervision. When I started out as an Executive Coach I was told that it was important to have coaching supervision, but nobody explained how it worked or its benefits.
Doubts About Coaching Supervision
There were a range of reasons why I had doubts about coaching supervision and I have explained the key ones here. I suspect some of these may resonate for other new Coaches?
- Poor Chemistry; my first coaching supervisor was assigned to me as part of a development programme. He was a very competent coach but we never had a chemistry meeting and so from a personal perspective I found I experienced a very mechanical and non engaging relationship. This meant that our supervision sessions lacked depth – caused by my lack of commitment to them. This experience has served as an object lesson for me as to the critical importance of chemistry meetings for my own clients.
- Qualifications; I had completed a Masters degree in Coaching and did not see that I needed any further development as a coach in order to enable me to help my clients. A fairly arrogant viewpoint for a Coach! Based on a total lack of understanding of what is offered by coaching supervision. Plus of course a poor initial experience of coaching supervision.
- Coaching Supervision is too expensive and time consuming. I’m not going to address these points individually other than to say this is not the case if you have the right coaching supervisor. I get fantastic value in terms of time and cost from my coaching supervision. I estimate that my coaching potential improves by 10 – 15% per session.
The Benefits of Coaching Supervision
- A confidential relationship with someone who is dedicated to helping you resolve your coaching dilemmas
- Working in a relationship where you are the coachee. It really sharpens your awareness of how to best work with your own clients.
- The opportunity to develop new coaching approaches. My coaching supervisor has a very strong background in Gestalt coaching, something about which I know little. However each time we meet I am learning more. I’m by no means an expert but I have learned enough to develop new and fresh ways of working with my own clients
- 95% of my coaching supervision sessions are focused on my real life coaching experiences rather than hypothetical situations. This enables me to find solutions to the dilemmas I face in my day to day work. We cover a wide range of topics – coaching approaches, difficult relationships, ethical matters, right through to business development. The sessions are really open, other than the fact I protect the anonymity of my clients’ names and companies.
- The development that I get is tailored for me personally and my situation – exactly what as coaches we offer our own clients.
This is not meant to be a sales pitch for coaching supervision – I don’t offer it anyway. But it is designed to explain what coaching supervision is all about. It also describes why a somewhat doubting new coach has moved to see coaching supervision as an essential process for enabling me to better support my own clients.
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