Supervision FAQ

Some of the common questions answered

Here are some frequently asked questions that you might find helpful.

Why supervision, and do you need it?

We can all experience unconscious patterns, and we all have blind spots. Supervision is about developing us as professionals and helping us work more effectively and safely.

We have a great responsibility as coaches because we impact people's lives not only our clients but also the wider system they are part of, so I think self-awareness and continuous development through reflective practice are very important.

Supervision is a safe place where we partner up with you (the coach) to reflect and explore the practice, tasks, processes, challenges and achievements of your coaching work and your well-being. It is a space where you can gain confidence and increased self-awareness, also unleash your creativity to ensure the best possible service to the coaching client.

Supervision enables increased objectivity towards what the client brings in a session, increases your resourcefulness as a coach and gives you a heightened sense of belonging reducing any feelings of isolation that we can experience from time to time due to the nature of our work.

Supervision allows the coach to:

• Evaluate the effectiveness of the coaching process.

• Monitor the relationship between the coach, the coachee and the client/organisation.

• Share and promote good practices.

• Share and value lessons learned.

• Challenge approaches and techniques in a supportive and challenging environment.

• Develop new approaches and knowledge to be more effective with coachees.

• Provides a structure to continue to develop skills and monitor progress.

• Provides a space for taking care of the coach's emotional well-being.

• Consolidate high standards of ethics in the coaching process.

What topics can I bring to supervision?

In supervision, we explore topics that are related to your coaching practice and these can be about you, your clients, sponsors, organisations, or your relationship with them. In my supervision practice, I contract for not exploring coaching business-related topics as these are addressed in a separate Business Coaching and Mentoring relationship that I offer.

Frequent supervision themes and questions that come up for clients are:

• How do I know that I add enough value to my clients?

• What should I be including in my contracting with a new client?

• Should I use coaching models/tools or my intuition in a session?

• How do I end the coaching with a client that is not a good fit?

• How do I handle a very talkative client?

• I have clients that I don't enjoy working with? Why? What does this say about me?

• Sometimes I feel attached to my client’s situation/story due to personal experience, how can I handle this?

• How do I take my coaching to the next level?

How often should I have supervision?

You mainly dictate the frequency, and it partly depends on how much coaching you are doing and your experience as a coach. A rough rule of thumb is to access supervision at least every 4-6 weeks. If you have more client work, you may want to have supervision more often, though it isn't necessary.

Supervision should be a planned activity, not sought ad hoc to deal with crises in your work, though being proactive if there is a difficult client issue to address is also important.

Should I have 1:1 or Group Supervision?

Same as in coaching, 1:1 and group supervision work have their advantages.

With 1:1 supervision, you get that special time for yourself. It goes deeper into the challenges or topics you bring to supervision. You can explore what you need and when you need it. One to One work also allows for a stronger relationship with your supervisor.

In group supervision, you can experience group processes and dynamics live, you learn from the group as well as from your own reflections. A group also increases accountability. It can also be easier to hear difficult things.

What is a typical supervision session like?

The session starts with a check-in with the supervisee. The next step is to establish the session goal/focus and desired outcome, followed by a supervisory discussion about a current coaching client(s), situation or challenge. We also explore the coach's skill development needs and personal issues that may affect their coaching work. The sessions end with establishing learnings, insights and commitment to future action.

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