podcast – lifting the lid on coaching supervision

The podcast

Steve, here at idcoach, records a weekly podcast with Clare Norman (author, supervisor and coach). They discuss questions coaches may have as they ‘lift the lid’ on coaching supervision.

Questions such as…

How is supervision different to coaching?
Group supervision, 1-2-1 supervision, peer supervision, mentor coaching – which do I choose?
What should I take to supervision?
Am I resourced enough to coach?
Can I talk about my business with my supervisor?
Am I in a rut as a coach?
Am I leading my client?
Is the goal everything?

… and much much more.

Steve and Clare, both experienced coaches and coach supervisors, are passionate about the value that comes from supervision. In this podcast they chat, swap anecdotes and challenge each other as they share their experiences, knowledge, wisdom and insight exploring what supervision is, what it isn’t, what it’s like, how you might show up, what you might bring and how to get the most out of supervision.

Join us. Listen here, or subscribe with your favourite podcast provider.

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Or check out the latest episode with Spotify

Steve and Clare explore hiding in supervision as well as hiding in our coaching practice.
Clare and Steve chat with Steve Chapman in a rich, content-packed journey of exploration into the world of not knowing. Tethering fear and permission, our podcasters explore the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, stepping into a world where answers offer only more questions, leaping then looking, presentations to dandelions, the erratic behaviour that comes with stuckness and much more. This episode is so packed with curiosities, you might need to listen several times, as exclamation marks come back to life as question marks.
Knowing how we are doing as a coach is hard sometimes. Clare and Steve discuss options in the absence of direct feedback and explore how knowing who we are as a coach helps us to gauge how we are doing.
Clare and Steve explore ways in which we might now ‘meet’ our clients. Many of us have become used to virtual coaching and supervision, but how can we be creative across all mediums? Face to face, telephone, online, even by correspondence?
Clare and Steve discuss working with story and how story shows up in coaching and supervision.  Story is old thinking, often the story the client has told, and continues to tell, themselves. Our podcasters reflect on how storytelling is fundamentally human. They explore how we might use the metaphor of story in our work, but also how as supervisees we might become entangled in our client’s story or entangle our own story with that of our client.
Clare and Steve discuss internal coaching and the benefit of providing supervision for internal coaches even though their coaching role may be limited. Confidentiality and contracting for the boundaries of supervision are particularly important internally, and organisations should offer the support of supervision for their employees as coaches, as clients and as employees.
Steve and Clare embark on a wide ranging exploration of supervision with Peter Hawkins, prolific author and coaching sage. They move from where supervision began to the future needs for the discipline in an ever changing world. Are coaches not only allowing for the client system, but the global ecology in the room and also for the long passed actors in those systems?
Steve and Clare explore the possible futures Artificial Intelligence might bring to the world of coaching and supervision. Can AI replace the coach or could it augment the human coach? Should AI coaches have supervision? Is coding bias a potential game changer?
Clare and Steve talk about energy, how we have more energy (sometimes) for things that are new (like the first lawn mowing of the season) and how energy can get trapped in our body and need an outlet (like dancing). How does energy show up in your coaching?
Clare and Steve discuss coaching the person not the problem. Maybe it’s our patterns of learning through education and organisational working that lead to us as coaches trying to fix the problem, resolve the issue, achieve the goal? But what might we be missing by not fully noticing the person in front of us – how they show up, their baseline state, what is meaningful for them, how we experience them etc. because we are drawn to the presenting issue and a desire to fix that?
Clare and Steve discuss note taking and record keeping.
Clare and Steve explore the question coaches in supervision often ask.  “Am I good enough?”  Our podcasters unpack uncertainty, self-doubt and ‘comparisonitis’. Whether it be as a newly qualified coach or an experienced practitioner, we all have self doubts sometimes.
Clare and Steve explore the search to go deeper, the hunt for the killer question, the desire to turn a lightbulb on for our client.  They explore, with stories, how some of the best coaching comes, not from trying too hard to do those things, but more from the depth and quality of our listening. What drivers or beliefs in us, as the coach, take us to that place?
Clare and Steve welcome Josh Connolly to explore resilience.  Josh speaks from personal experience and works now with organisations to explore what resilience is, and what it’s not. Josh describes resilience, not as toughness, but as elasticity. They reflect on the role of coaches and supervision, especially at this universally challenging time of the pandemic. They explore the balance between coaching as an action oriented means of achieving a goal versus the coach as a deep listener, sitting with their client, empowering them to acknowledge their feelings and emotions.
Steve and Clare explore how we might access multiple intelligences, which augment our cognitive thinking and potentially provide new thinking for either coach or client. They discuss their approaches in supervision which include, imagery and drawing, the use of objects and metaphor, building 3D maps and use of the body to stand in, or move through, our experience. All techniques they also use as coaches.
Clare and Steve explore scenarios when our clients go missing and how this topic arises in the supervision space. Our podcasters reflect on how often in supervision the supervisee appears to have given away their power, become smaller in the relationship and maybe has started to tell themselves a story about their ‘hard to pin down’ client.  It becomes about what the coach did or didn’t do. Clare and Steve discuss clients who disappear after chemistry, or after a few sessions, or before the final session or after the coaching even.
Clare and Steve explore coaches coming to supervision seeking a ‘how to’.  Our podcasters reflect on how often supervisees see the supervisor as the mentor, the guru, the experienced one, the wizard even, who can simply offer them a solution to their stuckness.
Clare and Steve explore how to choose a supervisor or change our supervisor.  What might be part of your process?  Do you have a process?  Do you know where to look and how to find a supervisor?  Steve and Clare offer some tips and insights from their own experience and process. Make your choice a conscious one – don’t become lazy or look for an easy option and don’t choose one for the wrong reasons.  Be prepared to ask around – either professional bodies, coaches you may know or meet, or indeed supervisors themselves for perhaps a trial session?
Clare and Steve explore endings.  They reflect on the challenges coaches sometimes have with endings and how maybe that reflects the coach’s own experience of endings in their life more broadly or reflects directly on their own needs as a coach.  Our podcasters explore timings in sessions, knowing when to end and maybe when not to.  They explore programmes of work and challenge the idea of long coaching relationships.  They unpack experiences of not ending; of something that is left with the coach even after the client has long departed.  Endings enable beginnings and are a crucial part of what we do as coaches, yet often endings are harder.
Clare and Steve explore contracting.  Focusing on the contract in supervision they discuss the procedural, the professional and the psychological aspects of the contracting process. They explore some of the differences you might consider between working in a group or one to one with a supervisor and also the other watch-outs when the contract is more complex, for example working within organisations, or in an associate model.
Clare and Steve explore chemistry sessions. Many successful coaches form strong relationships with a wide range of clients; they provide challenging perceptive insights and support deep and lasting change in their clients. Yet many of these same coaches struggle with the chemistry meeting. Our podcasters share their own experiences and reveal what comes to supervision in this area.
Clare and Steve are joined by Julia Menaul for an exploration of grief, loss, death and bereavement; Julia, a master coach, director of AOCS and an author. Together our podcasters explore our personal, societal and cultural relationships to death. They also discuss how grief and loss come in many more guises – be it loss of job, divorce, the pandemic, and also perceived positive experiences which can equally carry a sense of loss, such as retirement, marriage, birth.
Clare and Steve explore what they mean when they refer to the system as it might show up in coaching and supervision. They explore the hidden dynamic and architecture of relationships, not just between people but between individuals and abstract constructs such as the future. They discuss nested systems, family systems, professional and organisational systems and how to bring awareness to the unconscious
Clare and Steve continue to build on the lockdown series of podcasts by exploring the nature of vulnerability and its place in supervision.  Our podcasters explore the negative connotation that comes with being vulnerable and, using Brené Brown’s work, explore the need for connection and fear of disconnection that drives us to hide vulnerability or a fear being truly vulnerable.
Do you walk towards and embrace vulnerability? Or do you walk away or hold it at arm’s length?
Clare and Steve explore emotions and feelings arising in coaching and coach supervision. Supervision provides an alternative space in which to unpack an emotional response and to acknowledge what is, as well as providing the opportunity to begin to widen our knowledge and language around our own emotions.  How is ‘irritated’ different from ‘frustrated’, for me?  This period of lockdown has created new emotional experiences and unless we resource ourselves as coaches, we cannot show up fully in the coaching relationship.
Our podcasters, Clare and Steve, build on the lockdown metaphor to explore the imperative that we bring all of ourselves to supervision. How are we impacted in all the dimensions of our lives by lockdown and the pandemic?  How is it impacting our thinking, our body, our behaviour, our emotions?  They propose that supervision isn’t just about the client and the coaching work but is more systemic. Bringing the whole of ourselves means considering all of the systems and contexts we operate in, not just the systems the client is in.
Expanding the idea born from the lockdown that we seek to go back to normal, Clare and Steve instead see this as an opportunity for deep reflection and personal exploration of who we are becoming as a coach and as a human being.  What is accentuated by the lockdown experience, what new learning might we seek to retain in new possible futures and what might we need to discard?
Clare and Steve explore how lockdown and the pandemic have offered us perhaps one of the most widely shared experiences of our generation and yet a deeply personal one too. Our podcasters take some time to lift the lid on this and how, as a metaphor, it has brought new language, new awareness and new needs for human connection.  They relate these topics and more to the world of coaching and explore what is already turning up in supervision as well as hypothesising what we may see more of in 2021. They unpack the cognitive versus the somatic, the concept of ‘normal’ and with the opportunity for exploration of this through the medium of time, indeed the idea that we might go ‘back’ to normal.
As coaches we often have a third party involved who is not the client. This might be HR, L&D, Talent, the line manager or the hiring budget holder. This leads sometimes to tripartite or additional conversations for coaches. In this episode Clare and Steve explore the ways in which this topic emerges in supervision and how the industry doesn’t always prepare coaches for these additional conversations
Clare and Steve explore mentor coaching. What is it and how does it work?
Recordings, transcripts, competency based feedback, one to one or in groups.
Clare and Steve discuss what we as coaches are responsible for. Sometimes we see ourselves as a service provider, or we seek to ‘over-help’ or even save our clients. Could useful be a better way to be than helpful? Can we spot our own patterns?
Clare and Steve explore what might be stopping coaches from coming to supervision.  They explore time and cost; but is supervision just an expense or is it about understanding what value can be gained?   How do we decide to invest in ourselves and do we make the same choices when attending a course or webinar as we do when opting in or out of supervision?
Clare and Steve discuss the differences and similarities between coaching and supervision. They explore the roles and the knowledge supervisor and coach take to their practice using the metaphor of a cairn of stones. They discuss the relationship between coach and supervisor and the place for reflexivity in the learning journey.
Clare and Steve explore whether it is ok to bring commercial or business related questions to supervision.  As a coach, can I talk about the balance of my work or about my business set up in supervision?  Can I discuss the challenge of turning my coaching into a profitable business, or talk about my marketing with my supervisor? Should I bring to supervision choices that I make to win business, even if I know that they might not be entirely ethical?  Where is the boundary?
In episode 9, Clare and Steve explore how we as coaches might get stuck in familiar ‘ruts’.  Do we coach similar clients in similar locations, in similar ways?  What stops us experimenting? What part does our personal history and consequent alignment to risk taking or familiarity play?  When you think about doing something new or unfamiliar, do you begin by asking what might be lost … or what might be gained? Supervision can help us to flourish and not be held back by learned patterns and old identities.
In episode 8, Steve and Clare explore how we as coaches might manage our own energy levels and resource ourselves, as they continue to develop the ‘restorative’ aspects of what to take to supervision. They discuss energy and touch on areas such as self doubt, celebration and success.
In episode 7, Steve and Clare continue to develop the theme of what to take to supervision. Their focus this time is on the ‘formative’ element – the learning that can take place.
In episode 6, Steve and Clare develop the theme of what to take to supervision. We talk further about those ‘normative’ aspects which ensure our work is ethical and professional. We explore boundaries between coaching and counselling, accounting for organisational rules and procedures, as well as safety
In episode 5, Steve and Clare explore what we might bring to supervision as a supervisee.
They cover boundaries, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, collusion, successes and much more. They also explore what it means to show up as a supervisee, with our client work in service of that rather than instead of that.
So, you have a supervision session approaching – maybe your first, maybe not? How do you prepare for your supervision?
In episode 4 Steve and Clare discover they have a very different approach. As supervisors they share how they might help their supervisees to ‘check in’ and be fully present for the supervision.
In episode 3 Steve and Clare share their own stories of their first experience of coaching supervision as novice coaches; they go on to explore peer supervision, co-coaching, supervision ‘lite’, group supervision and one to one supervision so that you can plan a route into supervision that’s right for you.
In episode 2, Steve explores the origins of supervision and he and Clare use that to inform a conversation about the reflective safe space supervision offers, resourcing the coach whilst offering learning and wisdom. They debunk the idea that supervision is simply about policing the coach’s work
Introducing this podcast series, Steve Ridgley and Clare Norman discuss their experiences of Coaching Supervision – good and bad! They discuss how coaches make the most from supervision, how to help them to understand what it feels like and the kind of things you might bring to supervision. Helping you to get underneath the surface so you get a better picture of what supervision is, what it isn’t and how to make the most of it. Two experienced coach supervisors, lifting the lid on coaching supervision

Joining a supervision group or working with Steve 1-2-1

If you are interested in joining a supervision group with Steve, or working 1-2-1 with him, contact him here to discuss what would work for you.

Podcast feedback

Also, we would love to hear from you if you have a topic you would like to hear Steve and Clare explore in a future podcast episode.

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