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Endings.    Julia Menaul

Remember the end of the film, Casablanca? Are you as disappointed as me that Isla and Rick don’t fly off into the sunset together? What about the Shawshank Redemption when in the final scene Andy and Red are reunited in freedom on the beach?

When you see “The End”, on screen, it can be disappointing or uplifting. Endings, however, are also important in life and consequently in our coaching.

Supervision has three main elements:

Qualitative – supervision ensures coaches are working safely and competently with their clients and provides an opportunity for feedback and a place for ongoing learning and professional development to ensure ongoing good practice.

Developmental – it is time and space to reflect on your coaching with a supervisor. The purpose of reflection is to make greater sense of coaching situations that may be posing some difficulty or dilemmas, where you are stuck and to gain more clarity in going forward.

Support – it is an opportunity to receive support – both practical and emotional (to allow for expression of feelings in relation to coaching situations), in the sense of sharing issues and when appropriate, reassurance.

So, how does that link to “endings”?

In practical terms, it can be how you end individual coaching sessions.

Do you have a process that allows time at the end of a session to step back from the topic under discussion for you and your coachee to look at what helped and what hindered?

Or maybe your sessions keep going until the time is up and you both just leave?

Coaches should also ask themselves how they handle the ending of a series of coaching sessions and is there anything different they need to do in the last session to create a sense of closure.

Also what can a coach do if the coachee wants to end the coaching before the contracted time? Some coachees will tell you they want to end; others may just not turn up for sessions or keep cancelling sessions for various “legitimate” reasons.

Finally, what if you as a coach want to end the coaching for whatever reason, how do you do that?

Coaching Supervision will provide a space to explore all these things as there is often no set answer to each individual scenario.

A supervisor will also help you explore the more supportive and development aspects. How you handle endings in your overall life has an impact on how you handle any type of ending, whether it’s in coaching or supervision.

For example, you may have a coachee or supervisee that worries about ending things because they are scared of the other person feeling rejected. The coach or supervisor may be a person who fears rejection. You then have two people locked into a relationship because they have “hot buttons” related to ending things!

Endings are all around us whether it’s past personal relationships that have ended or even the ultimate ending, when we shuffle off this mortal coil. A good supervisor will ask “How do you normally handle endings in other areas of your life and how might it be reflected in this coaching relationship?”

This article is drawing to a close, but I’m not sure how to end it……….maybe that’s telling me something?

Julia Menaul is an executive coach, supervisor, trainer of coaching and is based in the Northwest.

With a 20 year background in facilitating groups, Julia has trained managers in coaching skills in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Julia is an Accredited Coach with the Association for Coaching, a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and Institute of Training & Occupational Learning. She is one of the few coaches to have trained in supervision with Bath Consultancy Group and Coaching Supervision Academy.