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February Newsletter

Greetings to all our subscribers!  I’m writing this newsletter from the blustery south coast in the UK.  Over here, it’s been a hard winter but already there are signs that life is pushing up and the birds are getting unmistakably excited.

We unwittingly depend on this rhythm and there is always a semi-conscious note of relief when the weather turns around as it is meant to. Recent extraordinary weather in Brazil and Australia has brought more than a tremor of concern to everyone.  In addition, we have huge political uprisings in the Middle East and global economic conditions, which are affecting us all – even coaches.  I would say especially coaches, since we interface with global organisations and businesses that are directly affected by this turbulence.  This is creating more pressure for coaches – pressure which plays out right in the heart of our work.

One of the themes that CSA is working on right now is how we remain present and resourceful under pressure like this.  Our Diploma Senior Training Team is combining Relational Presencing, Mindfulness and Conscious Embodiment processes to develop training for our supervision students in this vital area.  Watch out on this website for Advanced Courses which aim to support and develop coaches’ resilience – we all need some!

What exactly is Coaching Supervision?

There are many ways of describing what coach supervisors do, so I thought that I’d share this latest one from Sam Magill, one of CSA’s Accredited Graduate Supervisors.

Supervision: the act of waking up to what happens in practice.

As coaches, we are regularly immersed in the world of our clients. We are called to be fully present and connected in such profound ways that we can evoke questions in ourselves and in our clients that have only crouched beneath the surface activities of their / our lives. Whether we are new to coaching or have been at it for a very long time, it is utterly natural to, in a sense, fall asleep to the effects of these connections, to the intentional practice of being present. In the process, we become less aware of our own practice and, while acting instinctively is very often a good thing, over time we develop unconscious patterns that may or may not be right for our current client.

Supervision of coaching is like climbing up in a tall tree, or standing on a hilltop looking out over the sea and the landscape around us. It is also like polishing a mirror that has become fogged with activity. It is also like revisiting our truest self from which our best coaching emerges.

Unlike coaching for performance or to build a new strategy or life, coaching supervision has no intention to go anywhere. On the contrary, it is about the coach coming home and turning on the lights again rather than bumping around in the dark. It is a balancing antidote to the very legitimate demand for concrete results expected by coaching clients.

Sam Magill,  January 2011 (please note that Sam Magill will co-lead the  CSA Diploma in Coaching Supervision in France in 2012 – details will be posted in this newsletter.)

Some Supervision Themes

Here’s some more information about what coach supervisors do. These are some of the themes that have been present in my own supervision practice over the last six months.  Here’s a list:

  • Working with clients’ aggressive challenges
  • Managing the coach’s own responses to challenging clients and client situations.
  • Support with websites, statements for accreditation (language, theory, style resources.)
  • Ensuring clear contracting and on-going contracting – staying present in the conversation.
  • How to develop EQ with brilliant, but low EQ, clients.
  • Supporting the coach to be patient, when patience is necessary.
  • Coming back to presence – coming home to coach’s own thinking.
  • Ensuring that clients’ expectations are realistic.
  • Offering new tools for coaches.
  • Combining theory with intuition – valuing the coach’s own knowing about their clients.
  • Developing coaches’ confidence and competence.
  • Working with clients’ who are at a cross roads in their working and personal lives.
  • How to work with clients who are facing major life changes:  loss, change and death.
  • Enabling the coach to recognise and access their next level of competence.
  • Self care for the coach – protecting the instrument of the work.
  • Supporting reflections on working with difference
  • Matching clients’ intensity as a way to avoid disengaging.
  • Suggesting interventions.
  • Teaching the coach about unconscious factors in coaching and how to ensure that coach is not caught in unuseful ‘games’.
  • Supporting coaches’ observations and ensuring that coaches use them to intervene   usefully.
  • Building and valuing the coach’s Internal Supervisor.
  • Clarifying complex multi-party conversations and re-contracting in the light of this.
  • Working with ‘armoured’ clients.
  • Unravelling parallel processes.

Boosting your creativity – article by Karyn Prentice

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. ”When I was your age, I always did it for a half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

Where does impossible end and a prototype begin? How many times do we use the words ‘’ It can’t be done’ and cut off any chance we might have of finding out whether there is something to salvage, to nurture or to fan the flame of possibility over? Too often our rational thinking might miss out the seeds of potential options. History is littered with one generation saying ‘can’t be done’ and the next one saying ’look again, it’s happening.’

Children are good examples to learn from. In play all ideas are up for grabs  and using imagination is second nature. My six-year-old granddaughter is up for that. If I say, “let’s build an interplanetary home for lost dragonflies,” she would say, “where shall we put the bedrooms?” Not “Are you nuts?” Or “what is ‘interplanetary’, give me a break, I’m only six!”………….read on in the Resources section of the website!



ICF Approved, 9-month Diploma in Coaching Supervision – a superb, rigorous programme now in its sixth successful year.  See Please email/call me for further information about the course: 01323 897 344

Advanced CPD for coaches:  Brighton, Saturday March 26th – Who you are is how you Coach. Feedback on this work from a recent EMCC conference:

“brilliant session…original learning…firmly grounded in ground-breaking research….  helped me tap into inner resources…. I felt in very safe hands….. lovely style and pace..relaxed and engaging..made sense of my experience… wonderful to learn so authentically…completely relevant…without doubt, this is going to become part of the ‘new wave’ of coaching.

See /Events for details.  Or email me at


Come and join for a lunch hour in nature whatever the weather

(or almost)

1pm on the first Wednesday of every month,

This season’s cycle beginning 2nd March 2011

Meet: take the Parkside exit (same side as Ritz Hotel). We meet at the

coffee stand just inside the entrance behind the current green construction


.            Refresh yourself by connecting

.            Walking mindfulness practice

.            On the spot supervision by experienced coach mentors

.            Be in nature and develop strategies that bring that awareness into

your work by being in nature

Hosted by Ian Mackenzie and Karyn Prentice:

NEW: Supervision tele-class in the comfort of your own surroundings

Coaches and mentors supporting individuals and teams save money by using telephone super-vision by experienced and qualified ICF Coach, Tele-class Leader and CSA Accredited Coach Supervisor.

Listen to others in the supervision process, learn through them, ask questions and give sensitive feedback.  Enjoy this confidential professional space to reflect on and develop your skills.

Commencing Monday March 7th every 4 weeks for 6 months from 4pm – 6pm

Fee: £240 for 6 x 90mins sessions  Min:4  Max:6 per group.

Payment by cheque by Feb 25th to : Jackie Arnold 18 Grinstead Lane, Lancing BN169DY or by BACS on request.  Telephone link and password will be provided.

Brighton & Hove Supervision Group for mentor coaches and supervisors

Face to face facilitated coaching supervision group starting in Hove.

Commencing March 2011 please email for further details. Only 6 places at £240 for 6 x 2 hour sessions so be quick!

Find out more:

Edna Murdoch  February 2011