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Why opt for supervision and mentoring?

First of all, although supervision  is  not  yet mandatory for coaches, it is increasingly considered as best practice and is recommended by international coaching bodies*  so as to ensure  the quality of services provided  by coaches and as a means for coaches to develop their competencies.

Secondly, the field of coaching is rapidly growing,  specialising and becoming more competitive.  It is therefore vital for all coaches, experienced or recently trained, to preserve the quality of their coaching, continue to advance their knowledge and develop their practice. 

Thirdly, coaching is generative rather than remedial.  It is not necessary to have something that needs be fixed in order to get coached.  The only requirement is a desire for improvement or change.  Coaching  is an extremely powerful transformational process that provokes concrete changes in life.  Coaching is for people who want results.  If coaching can generate extraordinary results for our clients, it can do the same for us coaches.

We are alone with our clients and we may not always know whether we are really giving the best of ourselves.  Even if  we stay in touch with a professional association, the path can be quite lonesome.   At times it  may be hard to keep the focus on our initial professional aspirations and to choose the best ways to renew our skills.  We have to maintain the delicate balance between our sense of mission, the demands of the market and our desire to provide an excellent quality of service. 

In addition to the development of our person and of our coaching skills,  as coaches we also have to deal with the practical aspects of our job.

Independent coaches have to face the challenge of establishing and developing a solid client base, marketing their services and running their business.  Internal coaches who work as employees of a corporation have to meet the challenges of navigating within an established system with its rules and constraints.

Some coaches may leave the actual coaching practice for a given period to focus on other activities. The return can be laborious if undertaken alone, without the support of supervision and mentoring.

All Coaches, whether they are beginners or experienced, can benefit from supervision and mentoring, improve their competencies and hone their practice of the Art of Coaching.


Supervision or Mentoring ?

In the field of coaching, there is not yet a consensus on a clear distinction between supervision and mentoring.   Supervision, as practiced in other professions,  focuses mainly on the exercising of the profession itself,  for example the act of coaching, the competencies, skills and knowledge involved.  Mentoring, on the other hand occurs when  an experienced professional shares knowledge and experiences,  and provides guidance in her area of expertise.

In our profession, the act of coaching is rarely dissociated from who we are, how we feel inside, what else is going on in our life.  Our personal life, our sense of mission, our self-image,  the way we manage our coaching practice and how we position ourselves professionally, are all closely related to the quality of our  coaching performance.  Understanding and learning to manage  the quality of our inner state  is of primary importance when we coach, it makes the whole difference you might say. 

That is why supervision and mentoring go hand-in-hand as one approach to provide  you with the best support necessary to continue your development as a coach.


Some advantages of supervision / mentoring

  • deepen the knowledge you acquired in your coach training

  • improve and amplify your coaching tools and techniques

  • receive constructive feed back on your coaching style

  • examine any concrete cases that you wish to focus on

  • reflect on the main asset of your profession: yourself

  • develop your own self-evaluation tools

  • identify strategies for your professional growth

  • clarify and anchor your practice in the coaching code of ethics

  • organize your work and develop your practice

  • renew your energy and motivation

  • have a mentor who supports and encourages you



* The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, that made a study amongst coaches on their use of supervision, recommend this practice.

Starting May 2008,  the International Coach Federation (ICF), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), the Association for Coaching (AC) and the Association of Professional Executive Coaches (APEC) are collaborating with a view to establishing standards for coach supervision.




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