What shall I take to supervision?
Updated: May 22
Have you ever had that experience when a meeting with your supervisor is in the diary, but you can’t think what to take to supervision? If your coaching is going well and there are no particular problems to discuss, what is there to talk about?
However, that may be an excellent time for supervision. It is easy to fall into the habit of using supervision to focus on a critical incident, as de Haan calls them; or a particular coaching session that you wish to dissect in order to gain the maximum learning – whether it went well or less well than you had hoped.
But supervision can be much broader than that; and it may well be worth discussing with your supervisor taking a different approach from time to time. After all, if you look at it another way, to say you won’t benefit from supervision is a bit like saying that you have nothing left to learn.
One of the topics we would suggest that you consider is a much broader look at some element of your coaching practice. That might be contracting, or assessment, or your note-taking, or reflective practice, or evaluation, or feedback, and so on. Any of these can usefully be re-explored on an occasional basis: it can be very interesting and valuable to articulate what you have learned since you last thought about the topic.
Another topic worthy of exploration is your supervision itself: how is that going? How well is it working for you and for your supervisor? How could each of you imagine improving or enriching your conversations? Presumably you are both growing in your work, so this is certainly worthy of reflection and may lead to dramatic changes and improvements, reinvigorating how you work together.
A third topic might be to look at your whole philosophy of coaching: what is it that you think you are doing when you coach? What are your underlying assumptions and theories? How do they inform your practice? And how often are they up for review?
And, if you want to keep your supervision fresh, keep up to date with your reading: there is lots of thought-provoking material being produced all the time, and bringing new ideas to supervision, to consider whether and how they might enrich your practice, is always stimulating.
With thanks to Mariia Zakatiura, Konstantin Dyadyun and Yeshi Kangrang for sharing their photography on Unsplash