One of my mentors once told me, “It doesn’t even matter what you do. What matters is why”.
Undoubtedly, coaching supervision is an important and even honourable type of support which offers that healing concept of ‘caring and protecting the carers’, but the main question that I’d like to help you answer today is …why become a coaching supervisor?
Why would you even want to consider becoming one?
I’d like to explore that inquiry through the lens of making a decision that feels aligned to you, i.e. it has both your heart and mind fully on board with your next move.
As I’m writing this, I want you to imagine sitting across from me having a cup of coffee together (or your beverage of choice), as I invite you to have a dialogue with me. There’s no fun in me writing (or talking) “at” you, so allow yourself to ponder over the reflections I will be sharing with you below.
In this article, I gently offer you to reflect on two main questions that I hope will encourage you to think deeply about what really matters here, i.e. your ‘why’.
Why Become A Coaching Supervisor: Finding Your Why
Question 1: “What is it about coaching supervision that touches something in you that makes you want to become a part of this honourable and life-changing profession?”
Intellectually speaking, I believe it is easy to understand why coaching supervision is so important and as I mentioned, even honourable for the coaching industry.
After all, it supports coaches in developing their professional mastery and becoming better at their craft, thus improving the quality of support that they have to offer for their clients. This means – more people in this world will receive quality coaching!
Coaching supervision also encourages practitioners to go deeper with their own inner work and helps them overcome their inner blocks, like burnouts, which may stop them from doing the great things in their work altogether. Things like writing books, creating courses and building successful businesses in a heart-centred way. This means – more practitioners will unlock their potential and bring their gifts to this world!
And lastly, it’s the sense of credibility that I believe coaching supervision provides. When coaches complete their coaching qualifications and venture into the wild waters on their own to seek and support their coaching clients, what would prevent them from falling into habitual and perhaps unintentionally mindless ways of being?
The quality assurance element of coaching supervision helps practitioners reflect on their methods and its effectiveness rather than just carry on doing things the way they’re used to – all whilst being mindful of and deepening their own meaning of the ethical and professional standards of the industry.
This means – we can gain that sense of order, structure and high standards of excellence in a sometimes perceived-to-be chaotic reality of a self-regulated industry that’s not immune to the emergence of “self-proclaimed” and “overnight” coaches.
Supervision for coaches is like that safe haven we need to retreat to on a regular basis to stay meaningfully engaged, intellectually stimulated and emotionally supported in our work and most importantly, life.
It’s difficult at times to separate you-as-a-professional from you-as-a-person (and why would we anyways?), so when we engage in coaching supervision we tend to naturally receive that holistic type of support that can directly or often implicitly elevate all areas of our life.
I’d like to invite you to take a moment now and see if you feel drawn to the meaning of what’s been mentioned so far? What words stood out for you specifically?
And why would it make total sense for you to become a coaching supervisor as the next logical step in your coaching career? If you like, share them in the comments down below.
Question 2: “What is it about you that makes you feel like coaching supervision is the work you’re meant to be doing?”
I know, this might sound like a very ‘high-vibe’ question you might not even be in a mood for right now, especially if you adopt a rather pragmatic approach to reflecting on it.
However, I believe there is always a part of us that ‘knows’ that something ‘just feels right’, even though logically we might struggle to explain it.
Many of us might sometimes feel like we need to present logical reasons to ‘justify’ our next investment or move, even though in reality we were sold on our decision based on those inner nudges way before we took time to rationalise it in our mind.
You might call it instinct, gut feeling, inner knowing, or that visceral spark that says “that’s it, that’s the next step”.
In his interview with Nick Bolton, Robin Shohet confessed that he sustained his love for supervision for over 40 years because “it fits totally with my character”.
This resonates deeply with me because I remember the day I decided to become a coaching supervisor.
I was still studying to become a life coach back then and during one of the group supervision calls that I had attended, I found myself feeling positively consumed and thoroughly enjoying the process.
During the call, we explored a number of client cases presented by other beginner coaches like myself and I felt like I was thriving as we explored the reality of what happened and possibilities of what could be done, and then shared our observations, hypothesis and suggestions of what we would try if we were in the coach’s shoes.
When I finished sharing my thoughts, our supervisor said: “And I have nothing to add, because Kris just mentioned all of my ideas.”
It was at that moment that I felt like I re-emerged from the deep waters of that process of collaborative exploration, to have a look around and realise: “I’m in my element.”
Joseph Campbell once famously said, “Follow your bliss and success will follow.” and I’m a huge believer that in order to make an aligned decision to do something (or rather become!), we need to enjoy the process, not just the results.
Coaching supervision is a process of deep exploration of the coach’s client work, relationships they build with their clients and other stakeholders, as well as the exploration of their own inner world and how it informs their coaching practice.
Similar to Robin Shohet, supervision suits my personality. I feel most alive when I gently investigate the stories my supervision clients bring, engage in explorations of facts and feelings, leaving no stones unturned, raising the current level of awareness, and wondering what we are not seeing that could potentially uplevel our way of thinking, doing and being.
That’s my equivalent of Robin Shohet’s “it fits with my character”.
The question is – what would be yours? What is it about you, your personality, your nature that makes you feel like you’d enjoy the process of coaching supervision?
Why do coaches train as coaching supervisors?
After having a number of conversations with some of my colleagues, I’d like to offer you a few ‘why’s’ from other coaches who have trained as coaching supervisors.
Maybe one or some of them will touch something in you and perhaps even feel right on a visceral level.
“I simply love working with other coaches. They know the power of coaching so well and are so open to going deep in our sessions to understand themselves better and lead their lives more authentically.”
“I’ve been coaching for a while and started feeling like I wanted to go beyond it. Coaching supervision was a godsend because it offered me a platform to share my rich professional experience and guidance with other coaches.”
“I love the therapeutic feel of coaching supervision, it plays to my strengths to facilitate that recreational space; my supervision clients often call our calls “a spa for coaches”
“I’m a lifelong student and always have my nose in a coaching book or training, so helping other coaches build their coaching mastery and expand their toolkit really feeds my passion for learning.”
“I noticed how some fellow coaches just naturally started opening up to me about their inner dilemmas and asked me for my guidance and opinions. I wanted to make sure I’m equipped to support them effectively and ethically with this.”
“I feel like as a coach I can only help so many people. But as a coaching supervisor, my albeit indirect impact is exponential. I can implicitly support people that I have no idea how to reach otherwise.”
“I consider myself a spiritual person and that feeling of interconnectedness that’s so ever present in supervision practice just feels so right for my soul.”
These are just a few inspiring examples of why you might want to become a coaching supervisor.
And if your mind and heart are indeed onboard, then what would be your why?
Share in the comments below.