Coaching Supervision Forum – A Review by Heather Beaton

On July 4 and 5, 2015 I was fortunate to attend the Coaching Supervision Forum: Igniting the Conversation hosted by the Vancouver Island ICF Charter Chapter. The forum was held at Royal Roads University and the setting was beautiful with above average temperatures and a view that was breathtaking.

If you were to ask me why I originally registered I would say it was threefold: (1) I saw it as an occasion to connect with leaders in the coaching community – an opportunity to spend two days with inspirational members of the coaching community and colleagues that I rarely see due to the fact that coaching is often an isolating profession; (2) it was an opportunity to earn some CCEU’s; and (3) I was curious about this Coaching Supervision thing – what was it really?

So off I went for two days to have fun, learn with like-minded professionals and gain an understanding of what this Coaching Supervision was. It was a wonderfully positive event, and without a doubt I got way more out of it than I ever expected I would. I was open to learning about Coaching Supervision and I was curious too because I had heard varied opinions about it, some positive some not so positive, and I am always curious when there seems to be energy brewing in different camps as this topic seemed to generate.

What I can tell you is that after two days of learning and experiencing Coaching Supervision in action I was pumped!! Coaching Supervision now makes sense to me – I walked away clearly understanding how this is a means for me as a professional coach to strengthen my coaching impact by being willing to be vulnerable about my ‘work’ as a professional coach; ultimately seeking professional supervision (from trained professionals) to understand where I may be stumped in my ability to move past barriers as a coach.

Years ago someone I admired deeply in another field of business told me that the six most important words were: “I don’t know, and I need help”. That has always stayed with me and it popped into my mind as I witnessed a Coaching Supervision session between a Coach Supervisor and a professional coach. It was magical and enlightening to witness the professional coach recognize his/her own blind spots and identify how these were barriers to coaching successfully in the given situation.

We cannot coach what we ourselves cannot see!

On July 4th I had some assumptions about what Coaching Supervision might be but I had no knowledge or understanding of how it might benefit me and my professional practice. Today I clearly understand how Coaching Supervision can provide a mirror so I – a qualified professional coach – can see what I am not able to see on my own.

Thank you to all who participated because without you the event would not have happened. My sincere thanks to the VI Chapter team who had the courage to bring this interesting and powerful work to our coaching community. We were indeed privileged to have so many Coaching Supervision experts from across the globe to share with us their knowledge and experience.

Heather Beaton