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Workplace Coaching Supervision versus Coaching
Supervision is universally seen as a crucial
ingredient for success in a wide range of professional groups from
those working in the health care sector to management development.
tend to work in isolation and
easily become very subjective about their work.
In the last few
years, coach supervision has been increasingly called
for by user-clients and 'professional' coaching bodies. However,
certainly doesn't fit for many experienced professional people developers looking
to build a coaching practice or to simply use the coaching
model of change and learning inside an organization. This group of people
developers typically prefer a support or mentoring model as a means for practice
In order to develop professional competence, new
coaches need to step outside of the classroom and practice their
skills in real workplace settings. Supervised work experiences provide
opportunities for development through experiential learning. Because
development as a professional practitioner does not end with certification,
working effectively with a supervisor is an important key
element in professional growth and
typically aims to identify solutions to any problems, improve practice and increase
understanding of professional issues.
corporations, with a large panel of internal and external coaches, now
regard supervision as essential to good practice. Some of these
organizations have already developed policies and programs that
require all coaches to engage in supervision with a respected
and senior practitioner.
What does workplace coaching supervision
Firstly, it provides time for a coach to reflect on
his/her work either with a senior colleague or external senior
mentor (in-person or via video-conference call). Currently there are no industry or professional guidelines as
to the regularity of supervision. Many coaching groups and
corporate coaching managers have established their own formula for the
amount of supervision in relation to practice hours.
By encouraging reflection on practice issues, the practitioner's skills,
knowledge and professional values will be enhanced and career development
and lifelong learning will be promoted.
Some Practitioner Benefits
Indicators of benefits could include: better targeting of
educational and professional development issues; reduced untoward
incidents; better assessment of client needs and program development
options; increased compliance with professionals standards; increased
innovation and better selection of appropriate methodology; reduced
professional stress; improved confidence and professional
development; greater awareness of professional practice boundaries and
accountability; better relationship with client/management; better managed
program risk and better awareness of the latest effective evidence-based
Some Client Benefits
Client management is assured that the supervisor, as the
third party, assists the coach to work responsibly and to
the best of their ability.
experience is designed to provide the supervisee with guidance,
environment and opportunities to facilitate the development of
competencies. This especially enables the new coach to use his/her knowledge base in
a professional and ethical manner. Professional supervision is an
important component in the maintenance and development of professional
Ultimately the supervision process exists
for both the coach's and client's benefit.
Unfortunately being supervised
is usually based on the traditional management relationship
where the 'manager/supervisor' oversees the coaches actions.
The term "supervision"
certainly doesn't fit for experienced people developers looking
to develop a coaching practice or to simply use the coaching
model of change and learning inside an organization. Most of these professionals view
the term as
belonging to a hierarchical management model. Recent research suggests that this same group of experienced
professionals best prefers the support provided by a specialist mentor who is
typically an accredited adult educator, a successful
coaching practitioner and, a subject-matter expert who also possesses
specialist psychological training and knowledge in the use of the