Our Philosophy of Supervision
For us, the supervision of coaching is about the pursuit of excellence and maturity. This is in service of the growth, be it personal and/or professional, of all parties concerned. In addition, supervision aims to support and enable the continued professionalism of the coaching industry, through the setting, aspiration and attainment of quality and standards.
In terms of growth, what immediately comes to mind is the balance between challenge and safety. An important part of the supervision relationship is that a safe space is created which allows for challenge and growth to be achieved. This is established by bringing sensitivity and integrity, along with inviting the coach to engage in an adult-to-adult dialogue. It is about co-creating a professional partnering which operates in support of the enhancement of coaching practice on many and varied levels.
Coupled with growth, is the process of the expansion of self knowledge and insight; making the unconscious conscious, that is synonymous with good supervision. In this way, we believe that the ability to recognise patterns, and explore the extent to which they help or hinder the coaching process, is developed.
We also believe that supervision is not only in service of the coach and their client(s). Indeed, the process of supervision may impact and influence the broader community. This is when supervision can act as a powerful catalyst for instigating the cascade of positive parallel processes way beyond the immediate boundaries of a coaching or supervision relationship. This is most effectively achieved when the supervisor invites and promotes learning beyond the session in terms of application and integration of said learning within the coach’s broader practice. It is also achieved when the supervisor encourages the coach to engage in ongoing reflective practice and models this developmental behaviour by doing the same themselves.
Of course, within the territory of growth, is the place for celebration and acknowledgement! Supervision is equally about recognising, capturing and honouring what is good and what is going well, as well as identifying and exploring opportunities for further development.
Of equal importance as skills, processes and models is the area of personal values and qualities that are conducive to being an effective supervisor. It is important to have good self insight and knowledge, and at the same time be ok with “not knowing,” whilst also being committed to our own learning journey. In this way, we aim to model good practice and positive parallel processes and outcomes with the coach.
The intent in our work as supervisors is to embrace the role of being a “custodian” of good practice; creating an environment for accountability and being directive and taking a lead in the dialogue when necessary. We believe we have the ability to give good feedback, even if challenging, and the confidence and assertiveness to have and voice opinions. This may also extend to making a clear request of the coach in support of their development.
In summary, the supervision of coaching is about making a commitment to professionalism and growth by accurately and sensitively identifying and working with what’s really going on!