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Supervision and the coaching profession

“Regular reflection on and reviewing of one’s work is essential to maintain and sustain good practice. Supervision recognises the ‘human element’ and subsequent demands of the coaching work on the coach. It ensures that relationships with clients are non-exploitative, a coach’s limitations are understood and worked within, and further development needs can be surfaced. It provides a space to expand emotional intelligence, gain support, relate practice to theory, develop new learning, and evolve coaching practice. Overall, coaching supervision is essential both to develop the coach’s professional skills and to maintain excellent standards of coaching.” (Association for Coaches)

There seems to be some consensus amongst the main coaching bodies (ICF, EMCC, AC, as well as CIPD and ILM) that supervision provides a collaborative space for reflection which is important to ensure accountability and protection (including professional standards and ethics), the development of the coach (including learning and skill development) and resourcing the coach (including emotional support).

The ICF for example list the benefits of coach supervision as:

– Develop your coaching skills and/or your coaching practice to provide the highest standards of service to your clients

– Address with an experienced supervisor, on a confidential basis, ethical issues that you may encounter during coaching

– Accelerate your professional and personal development, as part of life long learning as a coach

– Explore issues and dilemmas in a safe and confidential environment and obtain an experienced second opinion on coaching situations that may arise

– Develop skills, knowledge and build resilience and confidence as a new coach.