COACHING SUPERVISION FRAMEWORK – the technical/theoretical side of supervision

There are a few core principles that inform my coaching supervision practice:

  • Collaboration illuminates learning – we co-create a reflective space for stepping into real conversation – a dialogue where thinking is renewed, practices are reviewed, insight is activated and the door is opened for the best of you to emerge.
  • The quality of the relationship we create will govern the quality of the work we do together (as with coaching)
  • Supervision is ultimately about seeking the authentic you – your true presence
    • Who You Are is How You Coach” (Edna Murdoch)

My approach to the supervision process is shaped by my conviction that you already have within you everything you need to flourish professionally and personally. My focus is on supporting you through a dialogue of reflective inquiry, to gain deeper awareness of yourself and your coaching practices. Together we co-create a learning space where we can safely explore client challenges, ethical dilemmas, application of tools and techniques and attend to your emotional and professional wellbeing as coach. All with the clear intention of supporting best practice and outcomes for your coaching clients.

We will achieve the outcomes by…

  • Balancing challenges and supportive feedback. I take the role of gentle provocateur.
  • Working with your agenda. You are responsible for driving your own process. You are your own agent of change.
  • Focusing on developing and facilitating your own problem solving and awareness raising, growing your self-supervision capability.
  • Facilitating movement from awareness to action, creating development feedback loops to continually integrate and replicate your process.
  • Advocating and modelling reflective practices, emotional regulation, self-awareness, systemic awareness
  • Paying close attention to ongoing review and evaluation of the efficacy and impact of coaching supervision.

Theoretical Frameworks and Methodologies of Practice

Seven Eyed Process Model of Supervision – a framework that demonstrates all the different aspects that can be focused on in supervision and the range of supervisory styles and skills needed for each area of focus.  It is based on a psycho-dynamic as well as a systems understanding of the way things connect, interrelate and drive behaviour

Evidence Base – Hawkins, Shohet, Schenk

Karpman Drama Triangle – can provide useful insight into the ways unconscious dynamics such as Victim, Rescuer and Persecutor can enter the client interactions and how we ourselves (supervisor/supervisee) can get caught in unhelpful responses. Using the Karpman model, and it’s transformed Accountability version, we can see how to step out of the tangle so that both parties are free to develop beyond the struggle.

Evidence Base – Karpman

Reflective Learning and Reflective Practice – The active process of witnessing, inquiring and exploring into our own experiences in order to examine that experience and to create the possibility of learning from that experience.  The key to effective reflective learning is learning how to openly, honestly, compassionately and courageously inquire, examine, review, question, re-evaluate and own our own experiences(our own feelings, thoughts, assumptions, behaviours and actions within a situation) in order to learn, to re-frame and to learn how to apply that learning going forward.  Learning is thus emergent and is constructed through a dialogue with self, with others, and interactions with the world.

A reflective learning practice is a regular habit, structure or routine that is applied to the processes of reflective learning……….it becomes a way of being in the world.  (Patterson in Murdoch & Arnold p95-96)

Evidence Base – Patterson, Hewson & Carroll

Systems theory – based on the premise that everything is connected to everything.  An intervention at any point will impact on the interrelated components of the system, in a ripple effect.  The individual’s thinking and behaviour is an outcome of their contextual system. In organisational life –  there is an interrelationship between the individual and the context within which they work. e.g. if someone is working on increasing their collaboration amidst a team of highly competitive peers and the reward system is not set up to support collaboration, even small movements in the person’s behaviour can be acknowledged as successful outcomes.

At other levels, there is a systemic relationship between a specific role and the work of that role, between the Individual (I) and their relationship to the We to the IT.  So, there is scope in the coaching/supervision context for considering the degree of impact of an individual’s family values and culture, their personal values, assumptions and beliefs.

Evidence Base – David Kant, Bowen, Hellinger, Whittington

Emotional Intelligence theoryEmotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. Neuroscience has revealed a set of innate human capacities –  the ability to manage our own emotions and our inner potential for positive relationships. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and having the capacity to influence others’ emotional regulation.

Evidence Base – Daniel  Goldman

Mindfulness – encouraging “supervisees” to find a method of mindful practice to enhance their capacity for self-awareness and responsiveness to current circumstances – “a sense of where you are”; “being in the zone”; “focusing on situational awareness”; “contemplation”; “presence and flow”

Evidence Base – the work of Kabat Zinn and many others

Theory U – Theory U (also known as “Presencing”) proposes that the quality of the results that we create in any kind of social system is a function of the quality of awareness, attention, or consciousness that the participants in the system operate from.

Presencing is a blended word combining “sensing” (feeling the future possibility) and “presence” (the state of being in the present moment): presencing means “sensing and actualising one’s highest future possibility—acting from the presence of what is wanting to emerge.”

Core Principles

(1) Energy follows attention. Wherever you place your attention, that is where the energy of the system will go. “Energy follows attention” means that we need to shift our attention from what we are trying to avoid to what we want to bring into reality.

(2) Follow the three movements of the U.  We refer to this as the U process because of the “shape” of the journey. To get to the deep point of transformation (at the bottom of the U) it is necessary first to “go down the U” (the left-hand side) by opening our minds, hearts, and will, letting go of fixed thinking patterns, beliefs and assumptions and then, after “passing through the eye of the needle” at the bottom, “go up the U” (the right-hand side) to bring the new into reality.

Evidence Base – Scharmer, Senge, Jaworski, Flowers

Neuroscience and brain functioning – utilises new understanding of the brain’s architecture and its ongoing plasticity – its ability to change. Core principles…

  • Focus is power. The act of paying attention creates chemical and physical changes in the brain.
  • Expectation shapes reality.People’s preconceptions-mental maps- have a significant impact on what they perceive.
  • Attention density shapes identity.Repeated, purposeful, and focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.

The application of neuroscience to the coaching supervision context is based on an understanding of the brain’s architecture and its ongoing plasticity – its ability to change.

Evidence Base – the work of David Rock, Lewis, Amini & Lannon

Adult development theory – sees human potential as moving from simple, static and ego-centric level to complex, dynamic and world-centric levels of thinking.  Shifts in the way an individual sees their world and interprets it influences the depth and complexity of what they notice and how they respond.  We progress vertically towards maturity, each stage of development building upon the previous one.  This theory underpins the TLC inventory.

Shaped by the assumption that adults can continue to develop at all levels – cognitively, socially, emotionally and in their ability to synthesise these elements with increasing complexity.  Thus, it is possible for an individual to become aware of their stage of self-Identity and level of maturity, and to raise those levels if they so choose. People can learn higher order functions – impulse control; critical reflection; reflective judgement; moral reasoning; integration; differentiation. Through applying these thinking processes, transformational learning is possible

Evidence Base – Cook-Greuter; Wilber; Kegan; Beck

Positive Psychology – According to modern theories of self-esteem life is only genuinely satisfying if we discover value within ourselves. Yet one of the best ways of discovering this value is by nourishing our unique strengths in contributing to the happiness of our fellow humans. Seligman’s theory of Positive Psychology reconciles two conflicting views of human happiness, the individualistic approach, which emphasises that we should take care of ourselves and nurture our own strengths, and the altruistic approach, which tends to downplay individuality and emphasises sacrifice for the greater purpose.

Evidence Base – Maslow; Seligman