One of my activities is to supervise coaches.
For a coach, regular supervision is mandatory. Its duration, frequency, place, frame, etc may vary depending on the type of coaching. Executive coaching is different from team coaching for instance. But in all supervisions, the same questions need to be addressed:
- Is the coach working as a professional, using proven techniques which he understands?
- Is the coach referring to a Code of Conduct?
- Has the coach defined what is ethical or not?
- Is the coach aware of the laws and norms of the organization he is working with?
- Is the coach ready to listen to the feedbacks given by the supervisor?
- Is the coach ready to tell about the personal issues which may be pitfalls in work with the coachee?
Now the key question is: Who can claim to have qualification for supervision? The field of coaching is still young and therefore the field of coach supervision is even more unexplored. We, I mean big international organizations like EMCC or ICF, agree on the following: a good supervisor should have a number of qualities or experiences that the coach can check.
Below is a list of such qualities or experiences inspired from EMCC. The ideal supervisor…
Has enough experience as a coach
Has experience as a supervisor of coaches or therapists
Can evidence a theoretical framework for his or her own practice (*)
Can evidence a theoretical framework relating to supervision (**)
Has an understanding of the supervisee’s context (***)
Can make explicit his or her values and beliefs
Is aware and respectful of diversity (country culture, gender, etc…)
Has done enough work on himself or herself to gain a capacity for self regulation
Show commitment to continuous personal development
Agree to abide by a Code of Ethics (EMCC or ICF)
Is not ready to go into a conflict of interest (i.e. a business partner) or a dual role (i.e. the line manager)
(*): As a coach my personal framework is integrative, based upon Psychoanalysis, Cognitivism and Systems Theory.
(**) I have developed a training course for coach supervisors and I am also supervising supervisors. My framework is inspired from Systems Theory and, of course, uses a lot isomorphism (also called parallel process).
(***) Having been an international executive in IBM, I have a quite good understanding of the following contexts: concerns at executive level, concerns in the executive team, international matters, intercultural matters, industry strategy, etc… I have also an experience as a therapist and I can address psychopathologic issues.