Over the past few months I’ve attended several coaching conferences and I’m delighted to hear how supervision is now being discussed as an integral element in the practice and ongoing professional development of many coaches, especially those working in the corporate sector.
I find it heartening that this groundswell of acceptance and integration bears out the findings of my doctoral research project, which I completed in 2014. I explored ‘what goes on in coaching supervision’ as I was curious to discover whether my own experience as supervisor and supervisee was relevant and of value to others in the increasingly professional context in which we are operating.
I’ve now drawn the main threads and findings from my project together in a seminal article, ‘The value of coaching supervision as a development process’, which appears in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring. Read the article here, or the full edition of the journal.
What I found fascinating was that the research participants said that one-to-one reflection on their practice with a qualified supervisor is a vital support in their development. At the same time, there is further evidence that coaches draw on a wide range of other methods to contribute to their continued professional and personal wellbeing.
Activities such as mindfulness practice, yoga and tai ji, walking and other sports, plus regular dialogue with other colleagues, show how coaches are supporting their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. There is a growing acknowledgement that the challenges of executive coaching can take their toll on us as coaches, and we need to take care of our overall health to keep ourselves fresh and fit for purpose.
Equally, while there are already a number of well-established and very effective models of supervision, what also emerged from my inquiry was that there is a place for a new model. My Three Pillars of Supervision model provides the foundation and container for the dialogue that takes place in the supervision relationship. You can hear more about this in my video where I discuss how I work.
I welcome any feedback or reflections you’d like to offer on the basis of your own experience of supervision and how it supports your learning and development in practice. Feel free to email me here.