The essence of supervision; a coach’s perspective: The start of a journey

Nearly ten years ago, I actively decided from day one of my coach training that I would invest in coach supervision to support my journey. At the time I didn’t really understand what I was signing up to or just how powerful coach supervision would prove to be for me.  I took the decision to enter supervision long before I ever considered the notion that I might one day also be a coach supervisor. Intuitively, I knew it was a good move.  Ten years on, I can hand on heart say it was and continues to be the single best investment I have ever made in myself, my clients and my professionalism. I’d recommend it to all coaches in a heartbeat.

Still having questions ten years on!

At my first encounter with coaching clients I came away with questions, questions about the coaching session, questions about my clients and questions about me. All that was before I even considered any of the rich material I had been introduced to during my initial learning. Again, ten years on I still, after each coaching session, have questions about my practice, about me and my about my interventions, possibly more so than when I was a novice coach! The dilemmas I face ebb and flow, are always enriching and are sometimes complex ethical issues which rightly require, careful thought and compassionate handling. I gain massively from the partnership with my supervisor and also the challenge she provides and lets be honest the odd supportive ‘kick up the bum!’

Finding courage

We / I find it hard to explain just what it is we gain through supervision. For me it has been the courage to be, the courage to grow, the courage to change, the courage to experiment, the courage to take risks.  The courage to say to my supervisor I don’t think I did that very well, knowing there will be support and encouragement to be curious and explore what I might do another time in partnership with my supervisor. In doing this, I can consider not just myself and that particular client or issues, but also the likely impact on my other clients, thereby impacting even more positively. My recommendation is give it a go.
Lesley Cave is a PCC with the ICF, a coach supervisor, mentor coach and coach trainer.  Her expertise is focused on behavioural & performance change in organisations and is best summarised as a tripartite of a) Executive coaching, coach mentoring, coach supervision and training b) Executive & Trustee positions, including active engagement in a range of Senior Leadership activities and c) Senior interim positions focusing on clinical quality, patient care, service development and innovation.