"It is by being in Supervision that we protect ourselves and our clients. We are protected in the sense that we have the opportunity to reflect on our practice, consider our accountability and our ethics, learn and improve our practice and receive emotional support. Our clients are protected because they are assured that we hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional practice, ethics and personal care - in effect modelling for our clients what it takes to continually realize one's potential.." Belinda Davies, Former National President of COMENSA (Sept 2008 – May 2011), Owner of Leadership Solutions (http://www.leadershipsolutions.co.za)
Developing the capacity for Super Vision - the objective third eye is critical.
Paddy Pampallis-Paisley, Prof. Doc. Executive Coaching
Accountability, effectiveness and professionalism are core values for coaches and mentors. Supervision helps the coach/mentor manage high levels of complexity, maintain continued professional development, and have a mechanism for ensuring accountability and ethical practice.? - COMENSA (2006)
Supervision is central to a range of helping professions and, increasingly, is recognized as vital to professional practice in coaching and mentoring. The supervisor's task is to facilitate a wider perspective with the goal of supervision being to improve effectiveness, promote competence and excellence in professional practice and provide protection for both client and supervisee.
Supervision comprises three aspects: Developmental/Educational, Supportive and Structural/Managerial. (Kadushin 1985, Proctor 1986, Hawkins and Smith 2006)
- Developmental/Educational: This aspect enhances the supervisee's awareness and develops skills, understanding and competence. It is facilitated through a process of reflection, exploration and appropriate challenge. It explores the process of the work, the interpersonal dynamics between coach / mentor and client, related theory and alternative ways of working. The supervisor helps the supervisee to understand the client better and become more aware of their own reactions and responses by looking at how they intervened and what happened.
- Supportive: This aspect seeks to understand the emotional impact of the work on the supervisee, provide them with support and assist them in managing their emotional states - for the good of both the supervisee and the client. Emotions managed through supervision can improve the sensitivity and understanding of the supervisee of themselves as well as their client, thereby leading to personal and professional development.
- Structural/Managerial: This aspect takes into account the ethical considerations of coaching / mentoring, ensuring that the work is appropriate for the coach / mentor, the client and the profession. The supervisor enables the supervisee to be clear about her role, the aims and objectives of the work, and to identify appropriate resources if necessary. (Anne McDermott, Karen Pratt and Ezelle Theunissen)
The benefits of Super-Vision include:
- Continued professional development - an opportunity for the coach/mentor to identify personal strengths as well as areas that require further development;
- Support for the Coach/Mentor in dealing with 'challenging' cases, and in personal issues that may arise;
- Protection of the client - a mechanism for ensuring accountability and ethical practice for both the individual and the organization.
How does the issue of supervision affect anyone who is considering hiring a coach, individually or organisationally?
In seeking to hire the best professional coach, clearly considerations include ensuring that the coach is formally trained and accredited, has the relevant experience, and resonates with you. But supervision provides an added value: If the coach is supporting him or herself by being supervised, your Return on Investment prospects will increase significantly. (Michal Leon)
COMENSA requires that all members establish a relationship with a suitably qualified supervisor, who will regularly assess their competence and support their development. (COMENSA Code of Ethics, Clause 4.2.3 (d)) Please create hyperlink to COMENSA Code of Ethics. Any breach of the Code of Ethics can be dealt with under the COMENSA Ethics Complaints Procedure