Supervision is the process of someone bringing his or her professional work to another individual in order how to do that work better. It is a structured formal process to improve the quality of their work, grow their professional capacity and support themselves and their work.
Professional supervision has been the norm for health and social science practitioners for decades. Most therapists and psychologists consider it inconceivable that they could go about their work without regular supervision. Increasingly supervision is being adopted as “better practice” in the business context.
A Process of Reflection, Insight, and Support
One way of identifying what supervision does is to think of it as a process of Reflection, Insight and Support. This way of understanding Supervision underlines the fact that supervision enhances ‘seeing’, the seeing into one’s work, the illumination of subtle processes in workplace interactions and of blind spots in oneself and in one’s thinking. ‘Super Vision’ provides an enhanced view, a super-vision of one’s work. It provides a sounding board and helps the person expand their awareness, toolkits and quality of work.
Supervision vs. Coaching
Coaching is usually developmental. Goals or desired coaching outcomes are set in the first coaching session. Supervision is about reflecting, about stepping away from the buzz of daily work and leadership challenges. It is about gaining different perspectives and new insights. Supervision provides a time to pause. Over and over again it has been proven, how vital reflection time is for leaders and coaches
Supervision for Coaches
Supervision offers the coach a rich and broad opportunity for support and development. Supervision as a process of Reflection, Insight, and Support designed specifically for coaches can improve the quality of their coaching, grow their coaching capacity and support them and their coaching work.
Supervision helps the coach to become aware of relevant strengths and areas of development and to become stronger and more confident across a range of conversations. Coaching supervision explores and clarifies what goes on in these conversations and enables coaches to be intelligent about creating effective conversation in every “coaching moment”. The coach is invited to focus much more on what is going on in their process and where the personal may be intruding on the professional.
Working with me as a coaching supervisor helps coaches contain and resolve some of the more challenging parts of their work as a coach, such as:
- a challenge they are facing with a coachee
- personal or work changes or challenges affecting their coaching work
- a pattern or trend they are noticing in their coaching
- what to do when “getting stuck” during coaching
Supervision for Leaders
Supervision as a process of Reflection is a powerful tool for leaders. As an active process it is a means of gaining new perspectives.
Daniel Patrick Forrester, author of “Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization” says “Devaluing reflection while expecting constant growth and innovation is nonsensical. It’s only when we step away from the onslaught of the day that a new direction arises (good or bad). By never stepping away and, instead, insisting on constant connectivity, you can’t be sure if what you are working on will prove you to be relevant in the future.”
In my supervision sessions I help leaders with work related issues such as:
- the difficulty of achieving results when interruptions and unforeseen problems come up
- the undue influence of the organization or of key stakeholders which might reduce one’s effectiveness
- unexpected emotional triggers
- challenges in working relationships