What is Team Coaching SUPERvision?
After initially defining SUPERvision and Team Coaching, this article shares both the importance of SUPERvision for Team Coaches, as well as distinctions between SUPERvision for Coaches who coach one-on-one or in groups.
Originating in the fields of therapy and counselling, and established in education and medicine, SUPERvision provides a developmental, restorative, resourcing and benchmarking safe space where Coaches (Mentors, Leaders and so forth) can reflect upon their professional practice. Formats include one-on-one and group SUPERvision. SUPERvision can also be provided with co-SUPERvisors. It differs from Mentor Coaching where a more experienced Coach provides mentoring, feedforward, coaching, and target setting on live or recorded coaching session mapped to the ICF Competencies and markers and usually for credentialling purposes.
“…a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” - Katzenback and Smith (1993: 45)
Team Coaching enables teams to focus on their purpose and common goal, ways of working together and processes (Thornton, 2016), drawing upon collective capability (Clutterbuck, 2014; Jones et al, 2019), as well as thinking ‘systemically’ (Hawkins, 2017) by ‘listening’ to the needs of internal stakeholders, and beyond.
CoachME Team Coaching, the model that I use, is data-driven and blends a results-oriented approach, reflection and learning at team level, agility and action planning, celebration, as well as transition planning – coping with setbacks and dependencies (BECKETT MCINROY, 2012).
Common themes in Team Coaching SUPERvision include:
Although best-fit Coach-SUPERvisor relationships are all about chemistry and psychological safety, I also believe that training, ideally with assessment, as well as experience in Team Coaching and SUPERvision are essential for optimum Team Coaching SUPERvision. I believe that Team Coaching SUPERvisor’s impact can benefit from an awareness of organisational dynamics and business acumen, procurement requirements as well as sector specific knowledge, cultural, religious, and other identity nuances. Experience of working effectively with groups for group SUPERvision and ways of supporting co-Coaches is also an advantage.
It is also advantageous for SUPERvisors to be aware of a range of Team Coaching models, not just the ones that they trained in, as well as various approaches such as gestalt, positive psychology, existential enquiries, and humanistic work.
I see Team Coaching SUPERvision as a ‘step up’ as opposed to a sideways move from one-on-one SUPERvision and feel the same about Team Coaching compared to one-on-one coaching due to its complexity.
A SUPERvisor is usually more experienced and possibly more qualified than their SUPERvisee, and they have ideally had specific training in SUPERvision. That said, in the past year I have SUPERvised Team Coaching SUPERvisors some of whom are more practiced than myself with years of SUPERvision under their belt, however, this has been purposeful and conscious on their part for their own development. One reason for this was for one SUPERvisor to, for example, explore ways of working in SUPERvision online and with interactive tools.
Team Coaches can improve professional practice, self-awareness, and impact in service of the team and their wider system. Exploring team cases with a professional SUPERvisor, is an invaluable developmental provision that enables perspective(s). That is why I feel METAvision would be a more appropriate name ie ‘META’ – over and above, of high grade or quality, a term of approval, and powerful (Merriam-Webster, 2001) and ‘vision’ – an idea or mental image of something, the ability to imagine how something could develop in the future, the ideas that come from imagining. (Cambridge Dictionary, 2021).
I am often asked ‘When is the right time for Team Coaching SUPERvision?’ and I always answer, ‘Before any initial conversations about a team coaching project’! For me Team Coaching SUPERvision is invaluable and an essential part of the growth of Team Coaches and the field. Why? We don't know what we don't know... Teams are complex... 3+ way contracting can be daunting... For Team Coaches to be at their best, benchmarking is needed... The restorative element of SUPERvision, especially in team and board coaching engagements can keep us 'healthy' and grounded.... I could go on...
Dr Clare Beckett McInroy EdD MCC PM ESIA
Clare trained as a Team Coach (which consisted of two Professional Certificates, one Post Graduate Diploma and a Certification in Agile Coaching). Clare has found SUPERvision invaluable both one-on-one and also in a group format where learning from global Team Coaching working in a range of sectors adds a richness to the experience. Clare continues to have SUPERvision too. She also trains SUPERvisors (ICF and EMCC Programmes) with a focus on coaches working with groups and teams and is a SUPERvisor of Team Coaching in the Global Team Coaching Institute (GTCI) with the World Business and Executive Coaching Summit (WBECS). Clare is also a co-lead on Outreach and Research for The Association of Coaching SUPERvisors (AOCS). She advocates credentialling, that stamp of approval by professional bodies, hence she pursued European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) Master Practitioner (MP) in Coaching, Mentoring and Team Coaching, as well as their European SUPERvision Quality Award (ESQA), International Coaching Federation (ICF) Master Certified Coach (MCC), whilst also being involved in the creation of ICF’s Team Coaching Competencies and taking part in their pilot Team Coaching Credential, with research on their SUPERvision Competencies pending…
Clutterbuck, D (2014) Team coaching. In: E Cox, T Bachkirova & D Clutterbuck (eds) The Complete Handbook of Coaching, 2nd ed. London: Sage, pp271–84
Hawkins, P (2017) Leadership Team Coaching: Developing Collective Transformational Leadership, 3rd ed. London: Kogan Page
Jones, R J, Napiersky, U & Lyubovnikova, J (2019) Conceptualizing the distinctiveness of team coaching. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 34 (2), 62–78
Katzenbach, J R & Smith, D K (1993) The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. Boston: Harvard Business School Press
Thornton, C (2016) Group and Team Coaching: The Secret Life of Groups, 2nd ed. London: Routledge
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