Maximising coaching potential through supervision: a personal journey

Maximising coaching potential through supervision: a personal journey

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19 April 2024

Executive and leadership coach Jeffrey Wotherspoon shares his experience of a dramatic shift in his perspective on coaching supervision. Powerful insights he gained in one particular supervision session proved to be pivotal in his journey as a coach and for his professional success. Jeffrey offers his take on how coaching supervision can be a catalyst for both professional and personal transformation, and why it is something all coaches should draw on.

In the realm of coaching, supervision often stands as an underappreciated tool, viewed more as a necessary chore than a transformative experience. Reflecting on my own journey, I recall a time when I saw supervision as merely a hindrance to my billable work. However, over the years, my perspective has shifted dramatically. The reality is even when I held that perspective I still found each session of supervision valuable, offering insights into myself, actionable steps for improvement, and a newfound confidence in my abilities.

Several years ago, a particular supervision session served as a landmark moment in my career and personal development. It provided a powerful revelation regarding how my clients perceived me versus how I perceived myself. This insight, coupled with the confidence it instilled, became a driving force in my journey as a coach.

At its core, coaching supervision is not just about honing coaching skills; it’s about gaining clarity, increasing self-awareness, and making better decisions. This newfound confidence doesn’t just enhance one’s coaching practice, but permeates every aspect of life, influencing how one ‘shows up’ in various situations.

My journey with coaching supervision began against the backdrop of a diverse coaching practice spanning executive coaching, leadership development, life coaching, and career coaching. While my initial understanding of supervision focused on improving coaching skills, I soon realised its broader implications on my overall relationship with clients.

One pivotal moment during a supervision session stands out distinctly in my memory. I was grappling with feelings of inadequacy after delivering a keynote speech. Despite receiving positive feedback, I remained dissatisfied with my performance. Bringing this issue to supervision led to a profound realisation about how I perceived myself and how that perception affected my work.

As a black coach who often appeared younger than my actual age, I had doubts about my credibility and how others perceived me. My supervisor’s insightful reframe challenged these perceptions, leading to a profound shift in my self-image. Suddenly, I saw myself not as someone hindered by societal expectations, but as someone empowered by my uniqueness and authenticity.

This newfound confidence vibrated through my coaching practice and speaking engagements. No longer restrained by self-doubt, I accepted more confidently opportunities to share my insights and experiences with others. As a result, I found myself invited to deliver many keynote speeches and saw a significant increase in executive coaching clients.

My experience highlights the transformative power of coaching supervision. It goes beyond skill enhancement to address fundamental issues of self-perception and confidence. By confronting and reframing limiting beliefs, supervision empowers coaches to show up authentically and achieve greater success in their endeavours.

For those hesitant to engage in supervision, I urge you to reconsider. The benefits far outweigh any perceived inconveniences. Supervision offers a safe space to explore challenges, gain clarity, and unlock untapped potential. It’s an investment in you that yields dividends not only in coaching but in all aspects of life.

In conclusion, coaching supervision is not just a professional obligation; it’s a catalyst for personal and professional growth. Embracing supervision transformed my coaching practice and, more importantly, transformed me as a person. It’s a journey of self-discovery and empowerment that I encourage every coach to embark upon.

About Jeffrey Wotherspoon

Jeffrey Wotherspoon

Jeffrey Wotherspoon is an accredited executive and leadership coach, international trainer and conflict resolution specialist. He works with a full range of professional roles from C-Suite to those early in their careers, and across the private, public and voluntary sectors. Jeffrey also uses his time to coach those who would not ordinarily have access to coaching, including young men in prison and underrepresented young women. He is the Director of People Development and a founding member of the Universal Coaching Alliance, which aims to raise the bar in the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, building trust, and reshaping the world.

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