What is Supervision?
Supervision is a process to raise awareness of ourselves as coaches and our relationships with our coachees. It is about examining relationships systemically to bring about a higher level of understanding of the patterns and dynamics that may be influencing how we work as a coach overall, and with specific coachees / client organisations. It is also about exploring how the contexts that surround both the coach and coachee may be influencing what happens in the session.
Raising awareness can mean: Increasing your knowledge, expanding your perspective and making conscious your tacit understandings, assumptions and inner intuition, as well as any fears, concerns and embarrassments that may be holding you back with an particular coachee. Once surfaced and voiced, our non-conscious knowledge becomes a untapped resource to offer new insights and ways to ‘unstuck’ challenging coaching sessions.
Supervision addresses three key perspectives:
- Formative – to address any developmental needs you have
- Restorative – to encourage and support you, provide you with a place to bring issues and concerns about your coaching practice and client relationships
- Normative – to uphold the professionalism of coaching. To ensure your safety and the safety of your client. To explore any ethical or moral dilemma relating to your coaching.
What is the purpose of supervision?
- To provide regular and consistent focus on ensuring the quality of your own coaching practice
- An ongoing opportunity to improve your coaching skills
- Time to focus and reflect on your coaching work and learn how you coach at your very best
- Materials and resources to increase your understanding of supervision and your ability to self-supervise
How will supervision sessions be structured?
Sessions can be conducted by telephone, Skype or face-to-face at my premises in
Onsite supervision sessions at your premises may also be possible should you have a number of coaches requiring supervision and a corporate payment rate is applicable.
All Skype sessions will be recorded and made available to you afterwards for further learning and development opportunities.
Supervision – what happens?
During the session itself, usually focus is on exploring real life coachee case studies. You will be asked to prepare beforehand by thinking about particular recent coaching situations that you have found difficult or challenging and to write down some brief notes about the circumstances.
You will also be encourage to bring success stories and coaching relationship where you recognise you have been working ‘at your best’ as a coach. In this way we can build on your strengths and help you learn more about them.
You will be prompted to prepare for supervision a few days prior to our session, often in novel and creative ways.
I recommend that we agree to work together for a minimum of one year, so that you can set some overall developmental aims for your coaching over a 12 month period. This provides a context within which individual supervision sessions will be framed and your growth and improvement monitored and measured over a long-term scale.
Frequency of sessions within the year, however, is flexible. Sessions can take place monthly, bi-monthly, six weekly or quarterly, for instance.
Session length is typically one hour or one and a half hours, agreed in advance and generally remains the same for each subsequent session unless specifically requested to change.
If you have no particular case in mind you may have a particular question or concern relating to your coaching practice that we can explore, or we can discuss any ‘themes’ that you have noticed may be underpinning the kind of work / issues / you are currently coaching around.
Like coaching, the emphasis will be on you discovering for yourself the answers you need. More than this, supervision places attention on the wider system and enables you to think through coaching situations and dilemmas from multiple perspectives, exploring the coachee’s viewpoint and then viewpoints beyond that.
As we discuss and explore this together no doubt some of what happens between us will begin to reflect the dynamics that may exist between you and your coachee and my role is to help you notice any unconscious patterns.
Sessions can be creative and fun as we use different methods of enabling a more complete understanding of the situation to emerge for you.
As your supervisor, I will often take a ‘clean’ approach, which means my questions are designed to help you find your own answers. In addition, I will occasionally act as mentor and will, where appropriate, share resources and materials that are relevant to your coach development.
Responsibilities and roles
As your supervisor, my aim is to help you grow professionally, from all three perspectives. I generally take a ‘clean’ approach, limiting my advice-giving and instead focusing on helping you uncover your own answers. However, on occasion I may share my own experience and understanding, as it emerges in the session as well as any relevant past experience as appropriate that may be helpful to share.
I suggest the following ground rules, please confirm that you agree to them and also please add any further points about how you’d like us to work together.
- Professionalism – I am an accredited coach and coach supervisor with the Association for Coaching and member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and abide by their joint Global Code of Ethics and Good Practice (accessed here). We agree to use this code as a framework when relevant for reviewing any ethical dilemmas, unless you are a member of another professional organization that has its own set of ethical guidelines, in which case you will expressly state your preference and share the details of their
- Confidentiality – during our session we will discuss all aspects of your practice and also specific details about your clients. As best as possible please refrain from giving personal details such as the client name so they remain anonymous. I will hold all information that you give me in the strictest of confidence, except where we agree to take something from supervision and use in another context (for instance specific learning that emerges from the session). Everything discussed during a session will be treated with the greatest respect and confidentiality (within appropriate legal and duty of care limits). Occasionally, your case may be discussed (anonymously) with my supervisor in your (and your client’s) best interests. I will only release information about our work to others with your written permission or if I am required to do so by a court order.
- Openness – we each agree to voice any internal dialogue, or emerging emotional responses as they arise during the supervision session, even if they challenge or dispute the other’s perspective. We agree to make transparent any alliances and relationships that may exist outside of our supervision relationship that may affect how we relate to each other or introduce any potential conflict of interest.
- Respect – We will respect each other and value the experience each of us brings to the session. I will be totally present for you and deeply listen to what you have to say. I will stay ‘clean’ in terms of not trying to fix or solve your dilemmas but allow you the space to think differently and reach your own solutions
- Self-responsibility – You own your feelings and thoughts and take responsibility for keeping yourself in a suitable state of mind to work on client issues and any resultant personal issues you have that may relate to them.
- Scope – We agree to focus our time together on the process of supervision, rather than any other form of one-to-one work such as coaching or counselling. If a need for another kind of process emerges during the session we will discuss as appropriate and I will recommend another practitioner to work with you on that specific requirement, separate to our work together.
In addition, please can we agree the following for our supervision arrangement:
- Supervision sessions will be arranged at times convenient for you, by telephone, Skype or face to face
- You agree to make payment in advance of our sessions, usually agreed in a series of three sessions at a time (with 10% discount applied).
- We agree to honour the dates and times agreed. If absolutely necessary, you can re-arrange sessions with a minimum of 48 hours notice, otherwise a cancellation fee subject to the full price may be charged
- You may update me by email between supervision sessions as frequently as you choose. I will usually send you one email before each session and one after, with a brief summary of the session and any agreed further information and follow up.
- Either one of us may terminate the supervision agreement at any time, as long as a minimum of 48 hours notice is given on forthcoming sessions already agreed. If the supervisor terminates the agreement, any pre-paid coaching sessions will be repaid in full. If the coachee terminates the agreement, prepaid sessions will be refunded at 50% of the value.
Please contact us for detailed costs. As a guide, single sessions for individuals start at £95.00 for one hour and £135.00 for one and a half hours.
10% discount is applicable when you book and pay for a minimum of three sessions at one time.
Corporate rates start at £250.00 for a one and a half hour’s session. Minimum booking requirements are in place should sessions be required on-site and face-to-face.
To find out more and to book your first session, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or complete our ‘Contact us’ form.
Angela is an accredited coach supervisor with the Association for Coaching, (Include AC Accredited logo somewhere?)
The AC’s commitment to championing standards of excellence underpins its accreditation scheme for supervisors of coaches. Supervisor Accreditation by the AC allows supervisors to stand out in a busy market place, benchmarked against high professional standards. Support from an AC Accredited Supervisor ensures coaches receive a good quality service and flags to users of their coaching service that their coach is receiving excellent professional support.
AC Supervisor Accreditation is designed to accredit fitness to practise. Accreditation indicates that the supervisor’s work aligns with the principles, competencies and functions of supervision outlined in the AC Coaching Supervision Principles Framework.
For more information about Angela Dunbar, click below.