The Question – 
Helen Isacke asked Lesley Cave and me to stimulate some conversation about supervision in one of the Trusted Coach calls (If you have not joined them, they are well worth it)

I love being challenged to do something like that. It makes me think longer and deeper about what I do. It made me reflect on why I love the work of Coach Supervision and Mentor Coaching so much. It seems amazing that as much of my Group Supervision work is done in the evening, often after a day’s work, I feel more energetic after a two-hour call than before. (The same is for the coaches -I promise)

With some reflection I realised the truth of these statements for me:
• Supervision has helped me learn as much as all my coach training
• Supervision is a very adult-adult relationship based on adult-adult conversations
• Supervision is the place where I reflect on the whole system and get prompted to see the parts I am overlooking
• Supervision allows space and time for me to see the parallel processes and develop positive paralleling to feed back into the system

The question I chose to ask those joining the call was this:
“What are the values and philosophy that drive your chosen experience of supervision?”

Philosophy –
Philosophy being the fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language and I know we benefit from asking these questions when we are choosing how to engage with supervision. Interestingly Trudi Newton and Hilary Cochrane (1) have added an 8th eye to Peter Hawkins 7-Eye Model of reflection and that is the overall values and philosophy of the supervision conversation. A question worth asking of any supervisor you are looking to work with.

A conversation ensued during the call about the difference between coaching and supervision and I reflected on the quality of the conversation in a space which is full of valuable perspectives and philosophies. I could go into a technical explanation, but I wonder if a focus on ‘difference’ adds value. I believe that more importantly we need to enter any of these conversations with intentional purpose.

Conclusion –
We as coaches and supervisors benefit from knowing why we engage in supervision and what are purpose is. I am cool that we may all articulate it differently.

( 1 Cochrane, Newton Supervision and Coaching -Growth and Learning in Professional Practice)

Fiona Elder is an accredited ICF coach (PCC), coach supervisor and consultant working with leaders and technical experts who need to increase their influence and impact within working environments.