In the coaching industry we often work alone and whilst we ask for feedback from our clients having worked with their personal growth objectives, we are often left with our own learning gaps and development needs. Where do we go with these gaps in our stories and future aspirations?
This year, I have been training as a Coach Supervisor to create my own approach to supporting coaches and I have been surprised by the additional benefits of investing in my new learning journey for my clients and for my own development as a coach. Whilst been back in the learning space, I re-discovered what is important to me in being a coach. By working in the Supervision space for other coaches I enabled my own reconnection to coaching competencies, professional practice and the question that underlies our coaching models - Who am I and how do I coach? Is has helped that I train coaches in a coaching diploma that helps them qualify and answer these questions. They say the quickest way to learn is teach and this has been the far the greatest insight of 2020. Can I put others on the journey to coaching accreditation and the high standards of accreditation bodies and deliver this in my own practice? The answer is yes but its taken this year to believe it.
So what else have I learnt? Firstly that Supervision requires me to work systemically and with the metavision skills that look beyond the presenting issue. By doing more work with a Supervision lens I have found that I am more frequently sharing what I am noticing with my 1-1 clients and this is helping them achieve faster results on their goals. Working with a systemic viewpoint has also helped me explore organisation systems and connections and has supported team leaders more effectively.
Secondly, I have explored my ethical code and professional practice more thoroughly in the last year than ever before. This has been an important step in getting my house in order before supporting others to do the same. Can I walk the talk of the ICF professional standards I am asking others to review, own and make their own. I have learnt that this process should never stop but can get de-prioritised in the business of coaching. A big step here was to ensure that I am involved in Peer Coaching and getting Mentored and Supervised by others to test my ethics, my skills and challenging my practice.
Thirdly, I have found the clarity and meaning behind why coaching accreditation with the ICF (International Coach Federation) requires Mentor Coaching as separate entity to Supervision. By really focusing on what a coach needs to develop is key. Where are they on their coaching journey? Do they still need to grow as a coach and focus on their competencies and skills and need Mentor Coaching that reignites the connection to how they coach? Or do they need support in who they are as a person who coaches or how they can professionalize their coaching practice. Here, Supervision plays a role in their continuous development. My biggest learning was to offer distinctive practices on both and that this would make me happier as I can serve the system with my professional standards in place.
So this autumn you will see services being offered in Supervision of Coaches in groups or 1-1 and Mentor Group Coaching and 1-1 on my website. I see this as my way of playing it forward into the profession I love and it was inspired by the piece below to tell you about it now:
"Play it forward (sharing ideas, experiences, and insights) to seek guidance and feedback from members of your network. Often, people broadcast successes. However, sharing work in progress is often more valuable. Sharing work in progress creates opportunities for people in your network to give you meaningful feedback. When you respond to those suggestions and try new activities because of feedback, members of your network are motivated to continue giving you feedback" Source: rama.dasaratha LinkedIn
So that it explains where I have been and what I have been working on. It's time to play it forward with coaches in my network and beyond. Who is ready to come and work with me on their coaching journey? And what feedback can you offer me on this new journey? Katef