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Coaching Supervision: Reflection, Insight, Support

One way of exploring what coaching supervision should really look like, is to think of it as a process of Reflection, Insight and Support.

This way of understanding it underlines the fact that supervision enhances ‘seeing’ – the seeing into one’s practice – as well as the illumination of subtle processes in coaching conversations and of blind spots in oneself and in one’s thinking. ‘Supervision’ is then something that I, the coach, can take away with me – ultimately creating an enhanced view, a super-vision of my practice.

‘Reflection’ points to the level of learning that emerges as a result of sustained, supervisory focus on a piece of coaching, coaching themes or the coach’s development.

The ‘Insight’ is often collaboratively unearthed and it facilitates coaches’ thinking about their work. Insight may also be in the form of information or teaching on a relevant coaching theme.

The ‘Support’ of Coaching Supervision can be undervalued. Coaches in supervision often refer to the relief of having time and space to think about particular aspects of their work and especially to think and reflect with a trusted colleague who will microscopically explore practice with them, contribute to their understanding and hold their professional development with care.

This support enables the coach to contain and resolve some of the more challenging parts of their work. This might include, for example, their frustrations with coachees, concerns that they’re not doing enough, the difficulty of keeping to a coaching contract when the coaching ‘flow’ goes off-piste, the undue influence of the organisation (often implicit) or of key stakeholders that might reduce coach effectiveness, unexpected emotional material within the coach or in the coachee or ‘ruptures’ in the coaching relationship.

Such a level of CPD has obvious benefits for all stakeholders. What do you think?

Edna Murdoch