Most of us will, from time to time, have asked our supervisee’s how they experience a particular way of working with us. However, I always feel a bit guilty about that. Often, they are so immersed in their own thinking that it can feel a bit clunky to then ask how they experienced my facilitation. It’s genuine feedback for sure, but perhaps not the most informative feedback I could receive.
However, in co-supervision, a new initiative by AOCS, we have designed the time specifically to benefit the Supervisor practicing a new approach. Clearly, we hope their colleague (being authentic as a supervisee) will derive some benefit, but that really isn’t the point. Co-supervision is a space where the supervisor tries out things that they’ve not done before with the express intention of getting feedback on how they facilitated the process. And, bearing in mind the feedback is coming from a peer rather than a client, we can expect that feedback to be candid!
Vulnerable and courageous
For this to work well and constructively, it requires practitioners with a growth mindset who are prepared to be both vulnerable and courageous with their colleagues. Our clear intention is for this to a formative experience, the kind that is usually only found on intensive training programmes. It’s no co-incidence that the shared experience of people who train together, often forms deep bonds and they stay connected long after the programme has concluded. We hope the Co-Supervision space will have the same kind of impact.
It’s likely to appeal to those who want to hone their practice with their fellow supervisors before they use new techniques with their supervisees. We believe we will generate a community of engaged professional coaching supervisors who take an ethical approach to extending their skills, and develop a trusted network of experienced colleagues to turn to for support outside of the Co-Supervision sessions.
This isn’t a replacement for our own supervision, quite the contrary. The work will be in service of the supervisor’s learning, and so as the supervisee you may well leave with unfinished business. We therefore strongly recommend participants have access to their own supervisor and ensure they follow up any incomplete or unresolved issues professionally and independently of the AOCS event.
A key principle of Co-Supervision is that it is a shared space for experiential learning amongst equals who are catalysts for their self-directed learning. There are no experts here, including me who will be acting as host! That said, it’s always helpful to have some fresh ideas to work with, so I will be using my book “101 Coaching Supervision Techniques, Approaches, Enquiries and Experiments” to offer a selection of tools to work with. Some will have been written by me, but many will have been written by one of the 43 contributors to the book. So, I will be genuinely practicing and learning for the first time too. All the approaches are offered as suggestions and we encourage all participants to generously share their own knowledge and experience of techniques as well. This is your chance to practice what you want to practice and get the kind of candid feedback which will help your practice soar.
It also seems the AOCS member community agree. The January 2021 session SOLD OUT within 24 hours and so we are looking at how to effectively increase numbers for sessions from February 2021 onwards. Registration for February 2021 will be released on Saturday 9th January 2021 – so set a reminder.
Find out more about this new initiative here: https://www.associationofcoachingsupervisors.com/community/events/197/co-supervision-space
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