Coaching Supervision is by nature:

Developmental – enhancing awareness, skills and understanding

Supportive – understanding the emotional impact of coaching and options for growth

Structural – relationship and contract, ethical perspectives.

Operational definition of Coaching Supervision

ICF defines Coaching Supervision as follows:
”Coaching Supervision is the interaction that occurs when a coach periodically brings his or her coaching work experiences to a coaching supervisor in order to engage in reflective dialogue and collaborative learning for the development and benefit of the coach and his or her clients.”

List of potential aspects covered in Coaching Supervision

First, let us stipulate that all of the Mentor Coach aspects may be included in Coaching Supervision but it can and does include many more aspects which a trained Coaching Supervisor is able to recognize and address. Issues which reach beyond those in Mentor Coaching and which are often brought to coach supervision at any point in a coach’s professional life may also include (this list is not exclusive and not in any particular order and some points may seem similar but have a slightly different language):

• Providing appropriate support for the coach’s work

• Provide regular opportunities to reflect on the coaches work

• Develop skills and strategies that allow the coach to be more effective in their role

• Gain insight and understanding about why things turned out the way they did

• Receive feedback on the coaches actions/approach/behaviors

• Be validated and supported as a person and as a professional

• Ensure that the coach is not left to carry alone, difficulties, problems etc. as a result of the work that they do

• Have space to offload and express personal responses/feelings that arise as a result of the coach’s work

• Plan fully use personal and professional resources better

• Be proactive rather than reactive

• Manage self in the coaching role

• Check decisions and choices made by the coach in the course of their work

• Better ensure quality of work. Including ensuring that work practices are applied ethically and effectively.

• Provides protection of client, organizations purchasing services and the coach

• Providing appropriate challenge for the coach’s professional and personal development

• Providing a place to try out new ideas and skills, or ways to develop and become more resourceful

• Providing an ethical safety net for coach, and as a result, for client, and/or organization

• Working on developing the coach as a person

• Working on developing the coach as a coach beyond competency development

• Exploring where the personal impacts the professional

• Exploring issues of self-confidence and personal insecurities as they affect the work of coaching

• Inviting the coach to engage in reflective practice e.g., discussing the client, the system, observing what’s going on

• Norming with the coaching profession in one’s own culture

• Alignment with one’s own and others’ ethics when working with clients from a very different geographical, political, religious, etc., cultures and backgrounds

• Addressing stuck-ness (e.g. coach dreads seeing the client, fears they are failing, feels they’re going in circles, finds themselves offering solutions and being ‘yes-butted’ by the client.)

• Parallel process (e.g. coach finds themselves telling the client, whose issue is being bullied at work, what to do.)

• Boundary and ethics issues (e.g. working with more than one person in a family, or with people whose interests may be in conflict in an organization)

• Coach’s strong emotion(e.g. a racist comment by the client – the coach feels outrage, doesn’t know what it is appropriate to do with the feeling, but recognizes that her coaching presence and the quality of the partnership were compromised.)

• Reduction of the possibility of harm (e.g. the client is functioning at work but talks about heavy drinking, suicidal thoughts, etc.)

• Systemic organizational issues (e.g. HR wants information from the coach that would amount to a breach of confidentiality. Inexperienced coaches taking on inappropriate contracts.)

• Responsibility for required reporting of ethical issues as determined by the laws in the country which affect the coach – this varies from country to country