What You Need To Know

What is it?

Coaching supervision forms a key element of any coach’s ongoing professional development. In short, it’s an opportunity for you as a coach to reflect, learn, manage your coaching work, as well as be supported through challenging times and successes.  With the massive growth in demand for specialist coaches in the field of neurodiversity, coaches need to make sure that they take time to reflect, learn, and recharge to offer the best service to clients, while also looking after themselves.

What types of supervision are there?

There are different formats of supervision. For instance, you can have supervision in 1:1 with a qualified supervisor. This is most likely the most expensive format of supervision you’ll get but, in contexts like this, you’ll guarantee yourself bespoke learning and development based on your immediate needs. However, some coaches find it helpful to go to group supervision, too. This can be a very different but still rich experience, where the learning you’ll get will be from different coaches in different contexts; this can be great value for money in terms of CPD. Personally, I’ve found a blend to be useful. Group supervision can be much cheaper than 1:1 but some coaches find it doesn’t meet their specific reflection needs. Sometimes the (free) peer to peer supervision from a fellow practitioner is just what I need. Other times having my 1:1 coach supervisor consider my work in a systemic way is incredibly helpful.

How much do I need?

If you are a specialist neurodiversity coach wondering what’s the best thing to do for supervision, a good place to start is with your professional body. There you can find out what the supervision recommendation is for your coaching practice. That said, some professional bodies are still not absolutely clear on what the supervision requirement is. So, if, after this you find you’re scratching your head on how much supervision time you might need, a sound starting point could be 1 hour of supervision for 20 hours of coaching. This, of course, may depend on the type of work you do. For example, a coach working with more demanding clients in challenging contexts might need more supervision; whereas problem-solving in more ‘routine’ contexts are likely to need fewer supervision hours. Some coaches find it easier to be guided by a diary and have supervision at set intervals, such as once a month or every 6 weeks.

What do I need to do?

Unlike your clients who can show up for coaching with no goal in mind, you will need to prepare for supervision sessions. You’ll need to think of client cases or particular themes that you wish to reflect on with your supervisor.  Bear in mind, too, your reflective preferences as you engage in the critical task of reflective practice in supervision. Although each supervision session is generally only an hour long, some coaches find it helpful as part of their development as a reflective practitioner to think about aspects of the coaching work by writing their own reflective journal to capture key insights or commitments to action. These can help coaches increase their professional development by providing additional opportunities to think about the conversations and perspectives in their coaching work, alongside what is being experienced and learned in supervision sessions. 

Where can I find a supervisor and how much will they charge?

You can look for a supervisor at the Association of Coaching Supervisors. It’s a good idea to ask around your coaching contacts and peers, too, to see if they can recommend a supervisor to you. You’ll find it helpful to talk to people who might know a coaching supervisor that can address your development needs or with a specialism that mirrors yours. As always, the learning can be in the ‘friction’; the areas where the differences lie.

Costs will vary significantly, depending on the supervisor’s specialism and experience, for example. You will already be used to having open conversations with coaching clients about how much you charge. Be prepared for a similar type of conversation with the supervisors you’re considering working with and remember it’s learning and development tailored to your exact needs in that given moment. What price would you put on that?

What happens then? 

Once you’ve found a supervisor and decided on the format (group/1:1) you’ll find yourself issued with a supervision contract, just like coaching. This document outlines the principles of the supervision that you, the coach, and your supervisor undertake together. A good supervision contract should outline for supervisees that the supervision sessions will operate within the supervisor’s level of competence, focusing on the supervisee and their context, managing the boundaries of the coaching supervision relationship, and always acting with integrity and professionalism.

Still unsure?

For me personally and professionally, supervision is an act of self-care that works on my self-development simultaneously; I couldn’t live the busy life I lead and work with a complex, intersectional client portfolio without the wisdom, invaluable psychological safety and trust I have in my supervisor. With him, time and money well spent is when I leave the virtual supervision space feeling seen and heard and with things to read or stuff to try out that give added value to my service offer. My energy levels are usually back up, and I feel inspired, clear-headed and relaxed.  

Coaches, ask yourselves: What will it cost me, my clients and my coaching business if I don’t invest in booking some supervision?

Next steps

If you or someone you know could benefit from our Coaching Supervision, we invite you to reach out to us to book a chemistry call. Our experienced team is eager to engage in a conversation about your specific needs and how our supervision can empower you on your coaching journey. To find out more about this service, please contact us to arrange a call or book a meeting via Calendly.