How can you be a better coach? You may be a Strengths Coach, yet how can you create more of an impact with your coaching conversations? Coaching Supervision helps you grow as a coach and provides an ethical framework to support and deepen the conversations.
As part of the CliftonStrengths® Coaching Community, here are some steps to help you learn and grow to develop your coaching to the next level.
A good starting point is to join the various groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Exchanging questions about facilitating workshops and debriefing the CliftonStrengths® assessment is a great way to learn from colleagues on how to do coaching. See also the Top 10 Tips for a New Strengths Coach.
If your ultimate goal is to be a coach, this is a long, rewarding journey of reflection. Being at your best requires you to stop, reflect and think through how you show up as a coach. How do your values, beliefs and strengths shape you and define the lens through which you see your coaching clients? This will affect the perspective of your coaching practice.
How do you show up as a coach?
Learning how you show up as a coach – your presence – will increase your awareness of your dominating factors. Taking a step back to make sense of the emotions you experience as you listen to your coaching client, will enhance your perception of yourself. This is something you can do yourself to a point, where a coaching supervisor will be able to offer their external perspective.
Consider how your CliftonStrengths® themes listen to your client and make assumptions. They each hear from a different perspective using different scales of measurement. Being aware of these biases will help you form a more balanced view of your client’s needs.
Are you crossing any ethical boundaries?
A Strengths Coach is a coach, not a counsellor or a consultant, but a coach. A Coaching Supervisor will help you appreciate the differences and when to pass the conversation on to another specialist. Being aware of ethical dilemmas that may arise during coaching sessions, be it individual or team coaching, are all functional aspects of coaching supervision.
When taking on a coaching engagement, define the ethical boundaries for your responsibility. When an employee is struggling with their boss, is it your responsibility to speak to the boss on their behalf? Surely, this is something that the employee should do for themselves? Facilitating the conversation with the boss may be an option, however, the employee needs to have that direct conversation with their boss. A Coaching Supervisor can help you identify and manage these ethical situations.
Maintaining confidentiality is an essential part of coaching where a Coaching Supervisor can help you set the boundaries. Do clear with your client the level of your confidentiality, which may involve you sharing scenarios with your supervisor.
Do you ever get stuck with your coaching conversations?
If you are not growing, you are falling behind the curve of good practice, regardless of the number of your coaching years. A Coaching Supervisor provides an opportunity to replay a conversation and discuss alternative approaches. You may have overlooked a key emotion or tone in your client’s answer, which could prompt a different question. With a coaching supervisor’s help, you can develop richer and deeper levels of conversations to help your clients.
Sometimes, you don’t know the best approach to take in a coaching conversation, so your Coaching Supervisor is someone you can ask. They may be able to offer a deeper perspective of the CliftonStrengths® themes.
How do you manage your emotions?
As a coach, you receive many emotions from your clients, and sometimes that can get overwhelming. Sharing your feelings with your Coaching Supervisor will help to release the burden and the pressure. Going forward, they will be able to help you manage and offload the emotional burdens.
Working on your own can be lonely and emotionally demanding, especially when the issues for your clients seem overwhelming. A Coaching Supervisor can make you more aware of the emotional impact the coaching is having on you, and ensure that you are practicing good self-care. Together you can develop suitable coping strategies to manage the emotions.
What are the benefits of a Coaching Supervisor?
A good Coaching Supervisor will help you raise your game to the next level of coaching. Increasing your awareness of your coaching style, they will enable you to go deeper with your coaching conversations to benefit your client. Acting as a sounding board, a supervisor will help you appreciate the boundaries of coaching to maintain your professionalism and emotional integrity.
How can I find a Coaching Supervisor?
The International Coaching Federation ICF is a globally recognized coaching accreditation. Many CliftonStrengths® coaches are also ICF accredited which is required by some larger organizations. A few coaches are accredited in Mentor Coaching and can offer Coaching Supervision.
Written by Maureen Rabotin who is an experienced Coach Mentor and Supervisor.