An Independent, External Coach’s Perspective on the Trend of Coaching Supervision

Lisa Mallett March 26, 2015 12
An Independent, External Coach’s Perspective on the Trend of Coaching Supervision

The “pro” coaching supervision faction openly references the “marketing niche,” lucrative “revenue opportunities,” “enormous sales volume” and “manifold markets,” that would be created if coaching supervision was made a requirement for the thousands of current and future ICF-accredited coaches (tuition/training fees from coaches becoming supervisors, and then coaches supervising other coaches). This industry trend appears driven less by quality assurance concerns, and more by revenue generation concerns.

The “anti” mandatory coaching supervision faction is not against supervision per se, but thinks there should be a choice as to whether or not to undergo supervision as part of your ongoing professional development (the ICF already requires 40 hours of ICF-approved training and development for ICF credential renewal every 3 years). Many credentialed coaches regularly participate in peer-to-peer consultation and have a strong network that provides ‘critical friendship’ and “coach consultation” as needed.

5. I personally maintain that coaching supervision is a solution in search of a problem, and that problem is one of revenue generation in the industry. If this is not true, someone has yet to make a compelling case by clearly explaining the problem(s) that only the modality of coaching supervision can adequately address and solve.

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12 Comments on "An Independent, External Coach’s Perspective on the Trend of Coaching Supervision"

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Suzi Pomerantz
Guest

Thank you, Lisa! It would be wonderful to have an open, global discussion on the topic of Coaching Supervision here in the comments!

Teri-E Belf, MCC
Guest
In my profession, coaching, we value growth and development. That is why we created the profession: to increase client awareness and increase client responsibility (the ability to respond to that awareness). We hold our clients accountable for taking action. We also firmly believe that clients have their own answers. We value serving the whole client because every new perception or learning impacts the entire person…and surroundings…and planet. Many of you were there with me when we created our profession. As coaches we have to mirror that which we believe for our clients, valuing growth and acknowledging inner wisdom, being personally… Read more »
Suzi Pomerantz
Admin

Excellent points, Teri-E! I’d love to have a more global and inclusive dialogue about this important question of advancing our profession!

Patrick williams
Guest

The obvious and ridiculous question then becomes Who would supervise the supervisors? Will we train Master Supervisors?

Suzi Pomerantz
Admin

Great point, Pat…then it becomes an ever-expanding up-leveling of certified master supervisors for the master supervisors until we end up with a high lord priestess or something. And who regulates all this? The associations? Each country or state?

Sara Arbel , MCC
Guest
Dear All, I couldn’t have said better than Lisa Mallett: “I personally maintain that coaching supervision is a solution in search of a problem, and that problem is one of revenue generation in the industry. If this is not true, someone has yet to make a compelling case by clearly explaining the problem(s) that only the modality of coaching supervision can adequately address and solve.” I agree with her observation totally. – As a external coach in many global and local organizations for the past 20 years, amongst them, Microsoft, Intel, Bloomberg and more. Who would be the supervisor with… Read more »
Alison Whitmire
Guest

As a former CPA, I’m always thinking about following the flow of money. Who’s pockets will this line? Who is asking for this? Is it the market demanding it or someone else? As an independent coach for the last decade, I’ve not heard the need for this voiced in the marketplace. So, whose problem does this solve?

Renee Freedman
Guest
Like Teri-E, I am a lifelong learner and most coaches I know are also. This includes peer level conversations about strategy, challenges, and skills needed to coach clients (without breaking confidentiality). In the circles of coaches with whom I associate, this is a common practice. And, I believe its probably a common practice in within other coaching communities. I personally believe that idea that supervision is needed arose from three primary factors: inconsistency in client satisfaction (especially organizational) and a flux of new coaches or non-credentialed coaches flooding the market; the inability of many PCC level coaches to successfully pass… Read more »
Diane Brennan
Guest
I appreciate your starting this discussion Lisa. I’m reading the thoughts with interest and great respect for my colleagues. I was talking with Renee a little earlier today and wanted to share my thoughts/observations about supervision. I learned of coaching supervision from our colleagues in Europe and the UK in about 2007. As I learned more about what supervision as colleagues in Europe and Australia defined it, I realized they were describing developing reflective practice in ourselves – which I suspect fits with what many are describing as part of their ongoing learning and development as coaches and as people.… Read more »
Patrick Williams
Guest

Well said Diane. And calling it supervision is what muddies the water. There are always some language differences and given that the word supervision is not fully accepted in the US as in Europe or Australia, we need to stick to either mentoring or peer consulting for reflective practice in professional coaching.

Jacqueline Melbourne-Milner
Guest
Reflection within practice: When connecting with new, or potential, clients – I often introduce the following introduction. ‘Coaching skills: Coaching time: provides a unique bridge-way to individual support that can be tailored on an individual basis, helping to maintain your ongoing progression within the workplace, ‘social interaction’ – or even towards the achievement (through the building of individual self-esteem, outer-confidence and in the recognition and decrease of stress) of a better work-home-life (or integrative) balance.’ Most often: clients are seeking a new and external link of ‘active listening’ (a listening ear [based on a different level that may be provided… Read more »
Bonnie Howell
Guest
Lisa: I couldn’t agree with you more and greatly admire your courage in even suggesting that the emperor may not be dressed for the season. I fear we are rapidly becoming, by decree, or default, a one size fits all industry. Perhaps a passing concern about the impact on our very different clients is appropriate. “We” are having the same debate around the absolute tenet thou shalt not give advice. This is evolving in such a way that I fear “Have a nice day” will soon become outlawed as giving advice. As a student of the evolution of organizations formed… Read more »
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