Coaching Supervision


'Supervision is a place where a living profession breathes and learns … supervision can be a very important part of taking care of oneself, staying open to new learning, and an indispensable part of the coach’s on-going self-development, self-awareness and commitment to learning.'

Hawkins and Shoet


The case for supervision

Coaching is a complex and dynamic process with many layers of meaning. It is a highly skilled and demanding role and one which it is sometimes diffucult to maintain in isolation. All coaches, no matter how experienced and confident, can draw suport and develop further as a coach from the the opportunity to reflect on practice, to see new or alternative perspectves, to identify and understand the dynamics and psychological processes at play within the coaching relationship.Through supervision, by exploring and reflecting with a more experienced coach, the 'coach's batteries' can be recharged and new insights and understanding gained on coaching both as aprocess and relationship to better understand the self as a coach, the client, the coaching interventions and organisational context, and, therefore, ultimately better serve the client.

Coaching supervision is rightly seen as good practice by professional bodies and increasingly as an expectation of professional practice by corporate and individual purchasers of coaching.

An experienced and qualified coach, coach trainer and supervisor, Sally Bernham offers supervision to coaches in training, newly qualified and more experienced coaches and is happy to work both with individual coaches or to faciliate supervision of internal coaches in a corporate context.

A flexible approach to supervision will be negotiated to meet individual needs or organisational requirements. It can be conducted face to face or by telephone and can be conducted one to one, or facilitated in peer and group contexts. Individual supervision sessions typically last 60-90 minutes.

Several supervision models may be utilised including Hawkins and Shohet's 7-Eyed Supervision Model, Turner's 3 Worlds, 4 Territories and Clutterbuck's Seven Conversations as well as Casement's Internal Supervisor.

Benefits of Coaching Supervision

As the professionalisation of coaching continues, so too, does the need for coaches to be engaged in regular supportive supervision.

Effective supervision provides coaches committed to their on-going professional development the opportunity to explore in a safe environment with an experienced coach and coach trainer the issues and challenges arising inevitably from coaching.

Coaching supervision enhances coaching skills and confidence and improves outcomes of coaching through:

  • Consideration of the psychological components of the coaching relationship and coaching process

  • Support from an experienced, objective supervisor to restore/enhance confidence and personal resources to develop resilience and competence

  • Maintenance of professional and ethical standards

  • Development of the coach's skills, understanding and capabilities through exploration of the coach's coaching work.

For more information, download Idyia's Coaching Supervision Guide.

As a member of the Euopean Mentoring and Coaching Council, Sally follows the EMCC Guidelines on Supervision.

Sally with Dorothy Foote of Level 7 is working with Northamptonshire CIPD to develop a community of reflective practice supported by supervision for local coaches. Download our recent presentation to launch the initiative.