The concept of supervision has its origins in counselling and psychotherapy, ind

The concept of supervision has its origins in counselling and psychotherapy, industry, and academia and is a method of supporting those in helping professions (Brockbank and McGill, 2012). Supervision can be defined as “A safe space for reflective dialogue with a practicing supervisor, supporting the supervisee’s practice, development and well-being” (EMCC, 2022). Although supervision in coaching and mentoring is not as mature as in other areas, it nevertheless plays an important role for the continued success and professional growth of coach-mentors. Furthermore, benefits are to be gained not only by the supervisee, but also the supervisor, client, client’s organisation, coaching organisation, coaching profession, and wider system (Bachkirova et al., 2020).
From the perspective of the supervisee, not only does supervision provide continued professional development, but it will also aid in reflecting upon dilemmas, feelings and the possible overstepping of boundaries (Parsloe and Leedham, 2016). The concept of being “good enough” can be used to allow supervisees to take a step back from the intensity of the relationship with their protégé and to process the (negative) experiences in a safe and supporting environment (Hawkins and McMahon, 2020). de Estevan-Ubeda (2018) draws on research with supervisors and states that experience is the primary mechanism for supervisor development. Learning is enhanced by working through their supervisee’s experiences. This provides deeper levels of understanding as it adds on to their own personal experiences. Whilst working with a supervisee, a supervisor may draw from a model such as Hawkins and Shohet’s “seven-eyed” model. This provides a series of lenses through which differing viewpoints may be observed and analysed to gain an awareness of issues which may otherwise have gone unnoticed. This ultimately will lead to a more rewarding experience for the supervisee’s client (Abramska, 2020).
Organisations are able to gain from coaching and mentoring supervision through an enriched flow of knowledge which Parsloe and Leedham (2016) believe can lead to alignment of organisational goals, a focus on pertinent areas of investment and improved performance. They add that supervision can be more effective if carried out by external supervisors rather than internal ones as this can assure that standards and quality are being adhered to. Internal supervision, although attractive due to both supervisee and supervisor being equals, may involve challenge being neglected and therefore be less confrontational. These elements are required in order for each party to learn and develop (Hitchcock et al., 2021).
For those of you in the group who act as coaches or mentors, have you been able to take advantage of being supervised? Was this a formal/external/informal/internal process? What were you able to gain from it and were there any negative aspects to the experience?

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