Whether by it’s by letter, email or telephone, it is always lovely to receive a “Congratulations, you have passed” message so I was delighted to receive an email as the New Year dawned to let me know I had passed my ILM 7 Coach Supervision qualification. I am now “officially” a certified Coach Supervisor.

Over the past 18 months the studying has been no mean feat but going deeper into various coaching models, understanding the dynamics faced by managers with internal coach responsibilities and supervising other coaches around their practices has been fascinating especially for someone like me – who wants to know everything.

As a coach, one of the most valuable investments I made at the start of my coaching journey was to commit to working with a coach supervisor.

I have been with the lovely Shaun pretty much since the start. It was my chance to ask a lot of questions!

“Can I really push and challenge my client that far?”

“What is really happening for this client?”

and lots of “help me understand ” questions.

As well as a coach, Shaun is also a psychotherapist, so it really helps that he can give me that added insight in to the complex workings of our wonderful minds. Without his support and wisdom, I know I would not be the coach I am today. He gives me a safe space to explore my own coaching practice and reflect on how I am working with my clients and challenging myself … am I being the best coach I can be?

Being a coach is a huge privilege. We get to see people be hugely courageous in their vulnerability and get to support and share in their learnings, disappointments and celebrations. We get to witness them as they take risks, follow their dreams and when they get that breakthrough “aha” moment with something that they have been struggling with.

In coaching everything is normal, no one needs fixing, and everyone gets to understand they really are the expert in their life.  They have the answer to their own questions. It’s just that sometimes all that stuff in our head gets in a jumble and we can’t think straight.

As a coach there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on so when the session comes around, there is a little more required than rocking up and asking the questions! Connecting a client back to their values and seeing them make the changes they want or simply understand what is going on for them… well it’s the best job in the world.

Coaching is about partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. As a member of the International Coaching Federation the ICF Code of Ethics keeps me accountable and my clients safe. Regular coaching supervision is part of that commitment

Whether you are a coach with your own coaching practice, an internal coach within an organisation or a manager using a coaching approach, we all owe it to the people we coach to continually be growing ourselves and seeking our own safe space to check in and make sure we are being the best we can for the people that trust us enough to work with us.

We do not learn from experience, we learn by reflecting on experience.

If you are an OD manager looking for support for your internal coaches or a new coach looking for a coaching supervisor, I would love to hear from you.