Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Monday, 3 February 2014

Taking our own medicine?

If you move in coaching circles it can't have escaped your attention that coaching supervision is considered the 'done thing'. All the professional bodies speak of it as an essential element of good practice, and (rightly) refuse accreditation if a coach hasn't adequate support. Possibly more importantly, purchasers are increasingly insisting on it and see it as a hall mark differentiating the professional coach from the amateur.

So how come the up take of coaching supervision is so poor (if admittedly slowly improving)? Maybe it is the cost, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is more to it than that and wonder if it is about revealing our practice to another who will potentially find us wanting. (The term 'supervision' doesn't help here! ) So much of coaching happens behind 'closed doors' and to let another in can be daunting. Or perhaps it about 'problematisation' - I notice many supervisees report 'nothing to talk about' when what they actually mean is 'I'm not stuck with anything' at the moment and therefore don' t want take up my time. Interestingly whenever they start to talk about their practice it is always a rich and often developmental conversation that ensues.

I value my time with my own coaching supervisor hugely and find our conversations a vital source of support and continued challenge to my practice as a coach. However, more than that, I feel that if I ask my clients to reveal themselves to me it is only fair that I am prepared to do the same. Perhaps if we called it 'coaching the coach' we would be more prepared to take our own medicine?