You’ve made the leap, you’ve decided to become a coach – fantastic it’s an amazing profession and one I’m proud to be part of.
You’ve done your initial training and now you’re learning about the business side of things, how will you market yourself? Who’s your ideal client? What will you charge?
So what’s next? How will you ensure that you remain an excellent coach? Working alone what do you do if you get into difficulty? If you have a client that is really stuck, a client who you’re not really sure you can help? Do they need a different type of therapy? Am I still in scope of practice? How do you make these difficult decisions?
"Supervision gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own coaching practice."
Many professions adopt a professional supervision model and coaching is one of them. You may or may not be aware of it though. Not all coaching professional bodies have supervision as a requirement of membership. However I would suggest that supervision is essential if you’re a coach.
So what is it? The ICF define it as
"a collaborative learning practice to continually build the capacity of the coach through reflective dialogue for the benefit of both coaches and clients."
There are formal coaching supervision models, loads of research on it (including lots explaining the benefits and how it makes you a better coach) but still many coaches are not aware of it.
The NHS leadership academy talks about it, there are books, lots of books and training programmes designed to train you to be a coaching supervisor.
Why would you engage a supervisor?
Supervision gives you the opportunity to reflect on your own coaching practice.
A chance to talk to someone who gets it, someone who understands what you do, someone who can offer insight into those tricky situations you may experience, like some of those outlined above. A chance to reflect on scope of practice, think about options for CPD, maybe in group supervision it’s a chance to grow your network too.
How do you find a supervisor?
Many of the professional bodies for coaching will have a register of supervisors, similarly the coach directories (for example the Trusted Coach Directory) will have a list of supervisors.
When selecting a supervisor it’s really important to get a good fit, most supervisors will offer a free introductory call where you can get to know each other. In that call the supervisor will explain how they work and what options they offer. For example one to one, group, face to face or online. Just like when you first meet with a client you will know if it’s a good fit for you. At the very least you want your supervisor to have an understanding of your coaching approach and to have experience of the coaching area you work in.
Coaching supervision is an active process, you need to be prepared to reflect on you, to really think about what you do as a coach, how and why you do it.
To celebrate your successes and examine areas that are not going so well. To plan for your future in your coaching business to work out what you need to do to take that next step, uncover any blind spots that might be holding you back.
Supervision encourages you to be the best coach you can be – and we all want that, don’t we, for ourselves and also for our clients.
About the author:
Catherine is a Coaching Psychologist and a Health Coach specialising in workplace health. She offers individual supervision and has recently started a new supervision group for Health and Wellness coaches details and how to sign up can be found through the link below