WHAT IS COACHING SUPER-VISION?

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The European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) defines coaching Super-Vision as: "The interaction that occurs when a coach brings their coaching work experiences to a supervisor in order to be supported and to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach, their clients, and their organizations."

Super-vision is a trusting, respectful place whereby the coach feels safe enough to reveal and reflect on their doubts, feelings, and issues about their practice for the purpose of self-development. It explores where the personal may be intruding on the professional.  It is an opportunity to explore issues, challenges, feelings, successes, insights, ethics, and boundaries. It explores where the personal may be intruding on the professional.

John Dewey said: "The hardest thing to attend to is that which is closest to ourselves, that which is most constant and familiar. And this closest "something" is, precisely, ourselves, our habits and ways of doing things."  Therefore, reflecting, in Super-Vision on who we are, how we feel and think, identifying inherited assumptions, biases, and beliefs, raises awareness and allows for us to explore alternative and more powerful ways forward. It is an integral part of coach (and human) development.

 

IF "WHO YOU ARE, IS HOW YOU COACH….", THE TOOL MOST WORTH SHARPENING IS YOU. (PAM MC LEAN)

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SUPER-VISION?

Super-Vision aims to catalyze the growth and effectiveness of the coach, client, and stakeholders.  It raises awareness, expands capacity, sharpens skills, and provides a supportive environment to process complex feelings.

It explores how you are using what you have learned and the impacts of those interventions. Reflecting-on-action challenges and supports you to evolve. Coaches learn new ways of partnering with clients, hone their skills, and build their capacity.

It prompts holistic exploration of the systems they work is nested in, their influence, and how that influence is helpful or not. It does so by widening your lens so that you can see what was previously hidden or unconscious.

 

It will challenge and disrupt existing perspectives, beliefs, assumptions, and paradigms that may not serve you.  This exploration makes available alternate perspectives that promote opportunities for experimentation and growth.

 

WHAT CAN I BRING TO SUPER-VISION?

You come to supervision to grow as a human and a coach.  You may want to:

  • Explore your internal process (thinking, assumptions, biases, beliefs, values), and how 'what you bring' is impacting your work

  • Identify relationship dynamics you are co-creating (patterns, ego states, transference) and how to shift to a more resourceful approach

  • Discuss effective strategies to get unstuck or make deeper impact

  • Uncover blind spots

  • How to recontract if different results are needed

  • Explore how each system might be influencing the work.

  • Enhance the quality of your coaching through skill enhancement

  • Correct ethical issues.

  • Process feelings and attitudes: lack of acceptance, resistance, irritation, resentment, judgment, triggers, fear, shame

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What is the Role of a Supervisor?

The supervisor has three main functions: Normative, Formative, and Restorative.

The supervisor helps you ensure that your coaching is ethical and of high quality in the normative function.  If ethical issues are unearthed, the supervisor will discuss what is noticed nonjudgmentally and walk you through an ethical decision-making process.

The formative function provides space for learning and skill enhancement.

It might involve sharing a tool or enhancing your ability to demonstrate competency. Coaches are also supported to embody their identity and presence more fully.

The restorative function provides a safe place to process and normalize feelings and receive emotional support for what can often be challenging work. This function serves the well-being of the coach as it provides an often-needed opportunity to recalibrate.

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Leadership Coaching - True North Resources

HOW MUCH SUPER-VISION DO I NEED?

Hawkins and Schwenk (2006) suggest that new coaches seek one hour of Super-Vision for every 20 coaching of hours and that seasoned coaches seek one hour for every 35 hours of coaching.

If you hold an ICF credential it is entirely up to you how much super-vison you need. There are no formal requirements.

If you hold an EMCC credential, you must be supervised to apply for, and maintain your EMCC credential.

 

 

ICF Credentialing - Paulette Rao
Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEUs)

You can apply ten hours of Super-Vision towards the 40 units of continuing coach education required BY ICF when you renew your credential.

 
HOW IS SUPER-VISION DIFFERENT FROM MENTORING OR COACHING?

Coaching helps clients achieve their goals through a process of inquiry focused on raising self-awareness and action-learning.

 

Mentor Coaching helps coaches enhance their ability to demonstrate the ICF Core Competencies and the behavioral markers of effective and ethical coaching.


Super-Vision is a safe space for a coach to reflect on their thinking, behavior, and the systems at play. It increases the capacity of the coach by creating awareness of new ways of being, seeing, thinking, and doing.