An offering to Coaches at this time of upheaval.
From Doug Montgomery and Liz Nottingham
This article was posted on Linked In in July 2020
Now, more than ever, coaches need a safe space to pause, reflect and refresh ourselves. Our group Coach Super-Vision seeks to provides such a space.
The current Covid19 crisis has and continues to necessitate many changes in the way we live and work, not just in our own little bubble, but across the UK and indeed the world. This raises many questions.
- What will we return to when the threat of this pandemic recedes?
- What will the new normal be like for coaches, clients and client organisations?
- What do we want this to look like?
- How can we incorporate the experiences we are going through during these difficult and threatening times into our own work as coaches?
- How can we support our clients in incorporating the things they appreciate and the opportunities they have taken up into their lives and organisations?
Indeed, perhaps the biggest question of all is: “Who am I as a coach now?”.
Much of the “former normal” we took for granted is slipping away to reveal what is important; what is really important. The path ahead is one of uncertainty and potential risk as well as opportunity.
Coaching clients are reporting that staff working from home, physically removed from their managers and leaders are showing more resourcefulness, thinking for themselves and operating with less dependence on being told what to do. With no one at the next desk to ask for help there is less cop-out from taking responsibility. Others are reporting that with the unimportant being removed, they have time to think about their work, their colleagues and their own wellbeing. Others are finding that processes have been simplified and streamlined without losing integrity. What does this mean for how our coachees lead their people? What does it mean for how we coach them in the emerging, evolving “new normal”?
For us as coaches we are working with clients in new ways, remotely, beamed from our home into their living rooms. Our own coaching practices need to evolve to service this “new normal”
Who are we?
We, Doug and Liz, are independent accredited coach supervisors and experienced business leaders from different industries. Doug’s a former research scientist and senior leader in the pharmaceutical industry, and runs an independent executive coaching and coach supervision practice. Liz ‘s background is in senior HR roles. We both trained in coaching supervision at the Coaching Supervision Academy, where we learned that “Who we are is how we supervise”. We base our supervision offering on the premise that “Who you are is how you coach”.
We share a belief that these times are revealing important information about who we are, how we operate, and how we want to be in the future. We believe that noticing these things and bringing them into the foreground is a reflective process best done in partnership. David Whyte encourages that we should “not name things too soon.” By naming it ”too soon” we deny it of the possibility of taking shape and emerging as something that we may not have any idea of yet. Otto Sharma advocates “letting go (of our knowledge and assumptions) to let come”. Both these concepts seem highly relevant today as this crisis evolves.
These ideas underpin our offering of super-vision for small groups of coaches that focusses on the emergence of new insights and awareness about who we are informing how we coach.
The Coach Super – Vision* we offer is a facilitated learning partnership founded on strong relational presence that will enable and deepen your own reflective practice. We think of coach super-vision as a multi-perspective Super form of Vision, that brings multiple lenses through which to view and explore you and your coaching practice. We offer you a safe, reflection space in which to take stock and learn as you move into the next phase in your coaching career. This opportunity to learn from your own experiences of the current monumental global events will probably (and hopefully!) never arise again in our lifetime. It would be a pity not to find sufficient pause in which to extract all the learning we can from this time of suffering so as to co-create a better future.
We are offering small group super-vision sessions for coaches who want to increase their reflective capacity and learn from their own experiences and the experiences and perspectives of others. We will enable you to explore who you are as coach and individual, and who are you in relationship with your coachees and clients. We will work by accessing your felt sense, emotions and energy to allow whatever needs attention to emerge. We will pay attention to your development as a coach, your professional practice and your energy and psychological wellbeing. In partnership, we offer to hold your feet to the fire of “not knowing and not naming” just that little bit longer to let the new come forth?
*We do not subscribe to the notion that “supervision” is about checking the coach is doing it right!
We have experience of incorporating a variety of approaches in our group work, from reflective writing, drawing, imagery, to magic boxes and constellations, as well as appreciative enquiry and embodiment and breathing practices. We anticipate that our initial sessions will take place over zoom. We will migrate to walking through parks and the countryside when lockdown allows, using features of the landscape and sky as sources of metaphor and inspiration.
For further information and conversation about what this could mean for you, contact