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What should we call Supervision?

Should we even call it supervision?

In the UK and Europe, the major coaching bodies (ICF, EMCC, AC,
APECS) are considering the results of lengthy discussions held over a
two-year period, one of which looks at all aspects of supervision. One of
the most difficult conversations we had was what to call this ‘new’
practice – and, indeed, how to differentiate it from mentoring?

While there was support for retaining the term ‘supervision’,
concern was expressed that this term should be differentiated
from other forms of supervision, such as educational,
managerial or therapeutic. Alongside this there was support
for a period of learning and educating so the various
stakeholders and the purchasers of supervision would be clear
exactly what they were buying into.

The good news is, I think, that we’re getting there and today it’s almost
impossible to get a job as an executive coach without being in coach
supervision. CSA is not only asked to provide supervision reports for
coaches working in organisations, but organisations are becoming more
open to learning about how supervision supports and develops their
coaches and to co-create with us an evaluation process that truly
serves all parties.

In 1999, when I began to coach, I could not find a supervisor. They did
exist, of course, although they were thin on the ground! I’m glad that the
picture is very different now and that coaches are getting great support
and development through supervision.

But what’s been your experience of commissioning coaching
supervision? Were your clients clear what they were buying into?

2010 Coaching Supervision Academy