Home Concepts Strategy Future of Coaching Supervision or Peer Consultation: An Op-Ed Blog

Supervision or Peer Consultation: An Op-Ed Blog

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It seems like EMCC and Australian coaching associations are favoring “supervision” and the ICF, in trying to be globally sensitive jumped on board. In my 25 years as a coach, I have always sought consultation and/or coaching with a peer or another coach for my case management, practice management, skill acquisition, and self-reflection on my coaching. I came to call that mentor coaching as did the ICF until March 25, 2010 when they defined for purposes of Credentialing, mentor coaching means an applicant being coached on their coaching skills, rather than coaching on practice building, life balance, or other topics unrelated to the development of an applicants coaching skill.

In 2012 the ICF included coaching supervision in the definition by stating that:

Mentor coaching is coaching for the development of one’s coaching, rather than reflective practice, coaching for personal development or coaching for business development, although those aspects may happen very incidentally in the coaching for development of one’s coaching. Having a clear definition of coaching supervision is important to help differentiate coach supervision from Mentor Coaching as defined by the ICF.

I believe that what is being called supervision is traditionally one of the duties of a fully engaged mentor coach. But the prevailing winds seem to want a distinction. My strong suggestion is to avoid the word supervision and simply and elegantly call it peer consultation with an experienced colleague. This is good for the practice, for the coach, for ethical concerns, and for improvement of coaching proficiency and for specific client service.

The idea of suggesting peer consultation with another coach is a good ethical principle, but supervision is the wrong term and the wrong implication.

This whole idea of supervision is misguided. Who supervises the supervisors? Is this just another monetized certification? I train all coaches and myself to consultwith trusted well trained and experienced colleagues regarding their clients and themselves. I suggest we call this process Coaching Consultation and then require 20 hours or so as part of continuing education. Thats more valuable than hours given at a conference for poor breakout sessions, in my opinion as a coach and coach educator for 25 years.

Whats interesting to me is that ALL the things listed in the definition of professional supervision were things I handled with my mentor coaches years agoand continue today with colleagues that Ive known for 25 years in the profession.

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