Forum on Coaching Supervision – What were the “take-aways'”?

So what were the ‘take-aways’?

I’ve been thinking back to the brilliant experience I had in Victoria, and asking myself what my main learnings and thinkings were.

One was during the keynote, where I suggested that a supervision session was about ‘mutual learning’, and one of the group (thank you to whoever it was), asked me if that were true for me. I remember saying that I thought that was a fascinating question, and added that this was probably a great piece of research to do: ‘what do supervisors learn through giving supervision?’ (If I didn’t already have a topic for my MSc, I’d probably take that one myself). So one learning I had is that learning happens at the most unexpected times. If we are open to noticing it, and to reflecting on it.

And surely this is what supervision is all about. Like coaching, it’s about learning in the moment, but using that consciously to make changes afterwards (am I suggesting that insight and knowledge alone are without great value unless they lead to some kind of change? Yes, I am.) So it’s about learning, thinking and applying – which is what I think ‘reflective practice’ is all about. Kolb’s learning cycle, and how reflection can lead to transformation.

There’s more. When I reflected on the demonstrations, I wish that I’d been more explicit up front about what my observers might notice. Believing is seeing, so with wise hindsight, I realized I could have been more impactful for the general learning if I had said, for example, I’ll be looking for where the personal intrudes on the professional. As a supervisor I assume that we know what we as coaches should be doing. What then stops us?’ This is the area for supervision to pay attention to, this is where the value of supervision lies.

One take away for me, then, is the DVD I’m making on coach supervision. In it I shall start by briefly outlining the areas a supervisor might be looking for, then doing a demonstration, and then analyzing the demonstration afterwards, through the lenses that I listed at the beginning. Sandwich learning. Without the Victoria experience, I wouldn’t have thought of that.

So what were your take aways?


Colin Brett PCC, BA(Hons), MA, MSc, MA
Coaching Development and Coaching Changes
59 Compton Road | Islington | London | N1 2PB

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