Chapter 10 Supervision as a Medium for Cultivating Self as Coach

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

—Marcel Proust

The work of a coach is, by its very nature, insular. Whether practicing as an internal coach, as a team coach, or as a leadership coach interfacing with stakeholders, the essence of our work happens within the confines and dynamics of the coaching relationship. How do we stay alert to all that is unfolding? How do we uncover what is only vaguely emergent? How do we ask of ourselves what we ask of our clients—to observe, go deeper, risk letting go of the old, and lean into the new territories of the self?

Any good coach would agree that the quality of one’s coaching is enhanced through reflective practices—the simple act of stepping back, reviewing what has transpired and asking what else might have happened, what might have been missing, and what got in the way of getting to the most important work. Yet, without a deliberate practice this can slip out of our awareness and we can rely on our old eyes instead of sharpening new ones. The tyranny of our habits, the pressure of time, and the addiction to busy-ness will inevitably prevail unless we are fully committed to turning up the heat on our own work as coach.

Coaching supervision provides this space to consciously step back and look at our work through different lenses with refreshed, sometimes new, eyes. It is here where we can deliberately focus on ...

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