Coaching, in all its approaches, is at its essence an intentional conversation that requires self-awareness and a curious mindset. Credible Coaching Associations require professional development and accountability of ‘certified members’ to demonstrate ongoing learning and growth as coaches. Typical approaches to meet the accountability for professional development include Mentor Coaching (the review of coaching competency practice focused on coaching skills) and, Webinars and Courses (acquiring new knowledge).
There is also the maxim: beware of a coach who does not have a coach! However, a coach having a coach is not required!
An approach that is a less known, yet a powerful approach to development as a coach is Coach super-Vision. Coach super-Vision is about the client, coach, and the worlds we live in and how all of these ‘systems of being’ interact and become evident in the coaching conversation.
Here are two definitions:
‘The process of helping a coach, step back, metaphorically, from their work so that they can take a meta-perspective, or broader view, of their practice’ (Julie Hay) (2007).
‘The process by which a coach ... can understand better both the client system, and themselves as part of the client-coach system and transform their work’. (Peter Hawkins and Nick Smith) (2008)
Coaching super-Vision gives the coach a safe, non-threatening environment to explore all aspects of their coaching practice, including areas of strengths (to leverage) and areas of concern (to explore). The supervisor facilitates the coach’s learning so that the coach has quality time to reflect, develop, and continually refine their coaching skills and intuition.
Coaching super-Vision assists coaches to observe the interactions, patterns, mental models and approaches they use with clients from a number of perspectives.
A typical Coach super-Vision conversation starts with the coach raising a question about their coaching practice. The super-Visor engages in the conversation to explore the dynamics of the relationships between:
· The client and coach
· The client and their world
· The approaches that the coach is taking with the client
· The coaches and the super-Visor’s experience of similar relationship dynamics
· The larger environment that influence all our relationships
The dynamics of the coach / super-Visor relationship are also acknowledged and explored to expand the view of coaching as a process of understanding and deepening of self-awareness.
Coach super-Vision is dedicated time for the coach to engage in dialogue with the intention of becoming a more effective coach.
A further benefit, for members of the International Coach Federation is that Coach super-Vision can account for 10 CCE credits per three-year Certification renewal cycle.
Coaches, if you wish to explore super-Vision for your practice I am here to talk.
Accredited Coach Supervisor
Associate Faculty, Royal Roads University
Author of Coaching From the Inside Out: A personal approach to coaching for change
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