Choosing Your Coach Supervisor: 4 Things To Think About

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In a LinkedIn post recently, I reflected on the requirements of organisational internal coaches and how at different points, their requirements were very varied. Rereading this post heightens my awareness that the pathway of any coach’s supervision journey is not an automated satnav process, nor should it be.

Supervision is a professional requirement, but it is not a one-size-fits-all all requirement. It is a very personal need. In the same way, we don’t all learn in the same way, so we don’t all need supervision in the same way.

Supervision is a special place where a coach can truly be themselves. You don’t have to, nor should you present your ‘best coach self’. It is a place for critical reflection, starting with Could I have done that differently/better/ or even why did I do that?

Therefore, this special place will meet different needs at different times of your coaching career, and you will need to select your supervisor carefully. For me, there are 4 main elements that a coach needs to think about in creating their supervision journey: Personal style; Type; Environment; Frequency.

Personal style

Understanding our own personal style for supervision often happens by trying several different ones. Some supervisors offer creative sessions of supervision – great if you know what you are joining for – maybe not great if enjoying a creative space is not for you. The message is – to know what and why you are booking a session. Read any information the supervisor puts out or have a conversation with them to understand the style they are offering. Supervisors will be happy to talk you through the type of session they run if it helps put you at ease and supports your development.

Type

There are many types of supervision 1:1; Open Group; Closed Group; Peer. They all have a place and can fulfil a need depending on what we are looking for. If you can, be curious and try a different type from time to time and see how you feel afterwards.

Environment

Face-to-face or virtual? These are the main types of environments. We know ourselves and where we can relax best into the reflective conversations/support we look for from supervision. Sometimes we can’t always have the environment we most want and have to make the best of what we can have. Both virtual and Face to face can be a great experience.

Frequency

There are no golden rules about how often you should be supervised. It will depend on how much coaching you provide and what is going on in your world. If you find yourself reflecting about a client more than you normally do, or you find you have an overfull head more than usual then maybe a supervision session will help you reflect in a safe space.

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