Thursday 12 January 2017

Coaching Supervision

I have blogged before about coaching supervision and the value of multiple approaches to it. In this post, I want to reflect on one aspect of that: note-taking.

At our supervision group, we used to allocate the role of note-taker to one member (on a rotating basis) until we acknowledged that most of us never read the circulated notes, and tended to rely on our own notes taken at the time or written just after the meeting. So we stopped pretending.

However, my peer co-supervisor, Jan Allon-Smith, and I have developed a different approach - more by accident than design  - that is proving very fruitful.  Each of us writes up our own notes of our sessions; then we send them to each other, and we each comment on the other's notes, and return them.

Thus I see what Jan remembered as significant in a session, and she sees what I did; but further, we also have a commitment to read each others' notes, for a good reason - to offer feedback or commentary on them. And that makes us do it, which in turn means that we each see each others' reflections on our reflection.

This has proved very rich, Frequently we pick up on the same things as critical incidents; and of course that is informative. But we often interpret them in slightly different ways, and that is a rich source of learning.  Also, and almost as frequently, we select different moments or themes to comment on, and often that has provoked post-session critical incidents.

I realised quite how rich this learning from our supervisory conversations was, when I came to prepare for our first session of the New Year. I decided to review all the previous sessions' notes, looking for themes, and it was incredibly instructive; both to see the themes that recur for me, and also the ones that seem to have been resolved.

So for any coaches out there, I really recommend this practice. And Jan and I have started to wonder if our collective learning might, in due course, be worth sharing with other coaches. Perhaps another book is brewing (say in a decade or so...)

No comments:

Post a Comment