I’m going to do the most non-coachy thing right now and assume *gasp* that you don’t have time to read a lengthy, often boring, opening to this article.
My second assumption is that you’re a supervisor (I’m quite a Sherlock, I know), you know what the formative function of coaching supervision is and you’re currently working (and if not, most likely you will in the future) with coaches who are borderline obsessed with learning new coaching tools, love the concept of Coaching Mastery and desire to be effective and confident in their coaching methods.
I might even go as far as to say that you might even experience a slight pressure to ‘perform’, brush up your knowledge of various coaching tools and impress such clients with your knowledge. So … feeling seen yet?
The purpose of this article is to give you a pool of ideas to draw from.
Read them, use them, thank me later. Let’s go!
A guide to supporting coaches who are obsessed with building their Coaching Mastery
1. Explore what’s currently in the coach’s toolkit
What’s already in there? What are we adding on top of? Essentially, what’s point A in our journey?
What strengths need to be internalized?
I’d recommend it as a first step. Recognizing and valuing what the coach has already developed and honed can bring that sense of safety and potentially reassuring enough-ness into the here and now. It’s grounding. That way the journey of building one’s coaching mastery becomes more mindful and enjoyable.
2. Explore what comes naturally to your client when they coach others
Oftentimes we discard the very things we’re so brilliant at because they come so easy to us.
We sometimes don’t value those qualities enough and might even think that it comes easy to everyone else. It rarely does.
So, what feels natural for you to be doing, what feels effortless? Does the client appreciate (or take for granted) their natural talents?
3. Explore the Use of Self with your client
Our go-to way to learn something new is usually to consult the external resources, – another book, another course, – and yet we always carry with ourselves perhaps the most important coaching tool ever. Our selves. Our bodies. Our intuition.
Sometimes, the best suggestion we can give other coaches is to train the sensitivity to their bodily sensations.
The beauty of Use of Self is that by feeling connected to ourselves, we begin to feel more connected to others.
We share reflections more powerfully and build a better rapport by attuning to our client’s needs and feelings.
4. Help your client explore and define their unique coaching style
Are they a gestalt coach working with the CBC model, or a person-centred coach where it’s all about the presence and very little about interventions?
Could they potentially be a master of solution-focused approach with a flare of positive psychology? Or are they naturally drawn to the client’s stories and use the narrative approach sprinkled with metaphors or perhaps card pulls?
Defining your unique coaching style is a creative process, where the possibilities are endless.
I know for a fact that when a coach is able to describe their unique coaching style with ease, clarity and confidence, it becomes much easier to attract clients and set the tone for the psychological safety in a relationship (i.e., clients have a good idea what to expect from the coaching sessions)
5. Explore what coaching methods or interventions feel challenging to use
What are they *not* using and why? Is it because it’s “just not their style”, or is there a fear or insecurity hiding behind it?
If you want to take it up a notch, ask your supervision client: “What about your work or how you run your coaching practice that for some reason you *don’t* want me to know about it?” …
Well, that could easily make for one very potent session.
6. After having a few sessions, ask the coach what they appreciate about your style as their supervisor?
What works for them and why? What do they want to learn or take from your style, practice, make it their own and add into their coaching toolkit?
7. What’s currently the crown jewel of a coach’s toolkit?
What’s their go-to model and why? How can they perfect it? How can they master it?
And most importantly, based on a coach’s client experience and personal sense of creativity, how could they modify that tool so that it becomes uniquely theirs?
8. Time to go through the client’s testimonials!
Review client cases and the feedback received so far.
What worked really well for the clients, what they appreciated, what they loved; is there something in those kind words that’s been missing and not being internalized?
9. Use the power of intention.
Before adding any extra modality, it’s important to get really clear on the intention.
Why do we choose to learn what we choose? What is our expectation? What do we think this new skill would do for us? How would it improve our effectiveness as a coach in practical terms?
Intentionality is key and helps to prevent burnout.
10. Integrity in mind.
When a coach is considering learning a new modality, like NLP or somatic coaching, my first question is whether they’ve been on the receiving end of this type of support.
Is this desire to study NLP for example driven by passion and how much *they* loved the approach and found it useful, therefore now want to learn it, or is it simply a desire to have “more”?
With coaching mastery, what I have come to realise is that the heart-led way of leading that journey does always work best.
Learning new tools and building one’s coaching mastery is not a journey of filling the void with numerous techniques. It’s about deepening and bringing forth what’s already within you. I hope that helps!
Which approach resonated most with you? Share in the comments below.