Supervision involves contracting on 3 different levels – practical, psychological and professional. It helps coaches become unstuck; encourages global perspective to rise above detail and assess impact on all key players; facilitates making sense of events; increases a coach’s confidence; supports coaches’ professional and personal development.
It is collaborative and collegial – open, explicit, knowledge-sharing, respectful, encouraging and showing concern. It is a safe place to examine vulnerabilities and own process honestly and authentically. The reflection process allows a deeper learning and mindful self-evaluation to occur. The coach, through consciously thinking about and verbalising their process, is able to refine and enhance their practice. Integration and application of learnings beyond the session allows coaches to develop their own style and effectiveness.
Supervision empowers people – to find clarity, solutions, move forward, improve effectiveness and performance and reach more resourceful states. Supervisors are also guardians of the coaching process, the ethics, morals, and standards of the ICF Coaching philosophy.
COACHING PROFESSION’S NEED FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey concluded in Habit 7 – Sharpen the Saw – that we should never be satisfied with the status quo. Saying “We are good enough” is the death knell of personal and professional development. We should constantly be striving to enrich ourselves and raise our standards, not just for ourselves but for our clients. “As you renew yourself …. you create growth and change in your life. Sharpen the Saw keeps you fresh so you can continue to practice the other six habits. You increase your capacity to produce and handle the challenges around you. Without this renewal, the body becomes weak, the mind mechanical, the emotions raw, the spirit insensitive, and the person selfish.”
Coaching needs to be sensitive to changing perceptions and requirements, so remaining a vibrant, contemporary profession. Without adaptation to changing environments, coaching would die out once current needs were met. This is also why continuing professional development, including Supervison, is so necessary – to constantly renew methodologies, update thinking, promote and expand the industry for the advancement of coaches, supervisors, clients and organisations.