Supervision for coaches
For coaches, supervision is recognised as an important developmental tool
(Lawrence and Whyte, 2014).
Coaching supervision involves a process of exploring through experience, reflection, inquiry and/or action, any personal, relational, professional and contextual issues arising from coaching practice (Geddes and Armstrong, 2009). As Geddes and Armstrong (2009) explain, supervision extends coaches' skills, expands their professional self-awareness as well as their whole system appreciation of the coaching relationship , and it provides:
- a reflective space where coaches can talk about and reflect on events in their practice and themselves
- a place where coaches are challenged, validated and held accountable by peers and supervisors
- a community of practice and a place for networking and professional development
- an extension of the learning space where coaches share expertise and experience
Coaches engaged in supervision identify numerous personal benefits of supervision (Butwell, 2005), and experence it as:
Importantly, for clients, supervision is recognised as an effective means of quality control.
- a space for case presentations in which a coach shares a challenging coaching scenario and gets feedback, advice or coaching on it
- a confidential place for discussions about recognizing and dealing with client boundaries
- a check for one's assumptions
- a means of gaining a support network to counteract the feelings of isolation as a coach
- a form of personal benchmarking
- an avenue for learning about new models and coaching tools
This recognition has become so widespread that "coaching supervision is regarded as essential practice in Europe" (Lawrence and Whyte, 2014), and it is fast becoming a recommended component of coaching standards around the world.
ReciproCoach offers coaches ongoing opportunities to participate in group supervision, wherein a group of coaches come together to learn by engaging in any or all of the following:
- case studies from our coaching practice and how to see, experience or approach them differently
- notice and reconsider our own assumptions as coaches
- discuss sensitive experiences relating to client boundaries or ethical issues
- discussions about coaching process and different ways of approaching the same thing
- Q&As (questions & answers)
- explore what gets in the way of coaches doing their best coaching and how to deal with these issues
- share tools, resources, knowledge and experience of what works and what doesn't
"Supervision provides a way to support [coaches] and to address clients' needs while, at the same time upholding the professional practice of [coaching] around the globe." Although this definition was adapted from a supervision training manual for counsellors, published by Family Health International (2005), it comes from a field (counselling/therapy) that has been engaging in supervision for several decades and therefore provides a clear explanation of what supervision is to coaches who may be coming to supervision for the first time.
You can gain a deeper understanding of the process and professional benefits of supervision in coaching, by reading the following research reviews:
Keeping coaches honest
Quality control for coaches
Want to find out more about coaching supervision?
See if there's a supervision session or series for you here.
Get instant answers to your questions from our FAQs
Armstrong, H., Geddes, M., & y,. (2009). Developing Coaching Supervision Practice: an Australian case study. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching And Mentoring
Butwell, J. (2014). Group supervision for coaches: is it worthwhile? A study of the process in a major professional organisation. International Journal Of Evidence Based Coaching And Mentoring
, 4(2), 43-53.
Lawrence, P., & Whyte, A. (2014). What is coaching and why is it important?. Coaching: An International Journal Of Theory, Research And Practice
, 7(1), 39-55.