Organizations who use coaching supervision find that it helps to build internal coaching capability and supports the development of coaching practice within the organization.  Coaching supervision sessions provide an opportunity for the organization to harvest learning from multiple engagements across different business areas. Harvesting learning in this way can provide insights into broader leadership and talent development needs that are common across the organization, as well as identifying cultural or systemic aspects that may facilitate – or impinge on – change at the individual, team, and business levels.

Research by Lawrence and Whyte (2014) conducted with organizations in Australia found that the primary purpose of supervision was quality control.  The organizations they studied discussed the value of coaching supervision in terms of having the quality of the coach’s work assured by others and helping coaches keep up to date with the latest coaching models and techniques.

A case study of supervision at Deloitte in the UK (Champion, 2011) reported that the introduction of coaching supervision helped to build the credibility and expertise of the internal coaches and enhanced their quality, competence, and professionalism.

Our own experience with U.S-based organizations who have chosen to invest in supervision suggests that quality assurance and the desire to adopt best practices in coaching are influential factors.

What are some benefits of coaching supervision for organizations?

Coaching supervision is not the same as being coached by another coach.  Leading scholars and researchers in the coaching supervision field argue that a coaching supervisor needs to be able to adopt a systemic approach. This is particularly important for coaches working in organizational settings where they have more than one client, and as such, need a greater appreciation of the complexity of the relationships and multiple stakeholder perspectives.  In our own study of coaching supervision, internal coaches reported that it helped them to better navigate multiple roles, commitments, and expectations and developed their capacity to look at the bigger system – recognizing some previously unseen dynamics.  Through supervision, the internal coaches in our study gained a better understanding of the influence of culture and power dynamics, including their impact on coaching outcomes and the expectations the organization had of coaching:

“One of the key insights was to look into the broader aspects of the coaching environment in which I work, i.e. the systems/corporate culture and this helped me understand why certain coachees perhaps behaved like they did during my coaching sessions.”

Internal coaches also noted an immediate ripple effect of the supervision, often between sessions.

“As there is a ripple effect in coaching per se, there is also this effect in having coaching Supervision in order to enhance the effectiveness of other coaches in the corporate environment where I work by disseminating knowledge and/or by letting people know what I have discussed during the supervision session and how it could be put into practice.”

For organizations using internal or external coaches, it is incumbent upon the organization to provide the resources and support they need to work effectively. One function of supervision is to restore and resource the energy and emotional health of coaches so that they in turn can support the development of their internal clients.  The past year has challenged coaches and clients alike in terms of adapting to new working norms, coping with stress, burnout, anxiety, and needing to be able to respond to the demands of the world today. Coaching supervision can play a role in supporting coaches to have the emotional energy required to do their work and is in alignment with frequently espoused corporate values, ethics, and the organization’s duty of care.

Find out more

To learn more about what coaching supervision is as well as its value and benefits, read our longer article that goes deeper.

If you’re interested in finding out more about training as a coach supervisor, visit our website.






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