Select Page

Why all the fuss in ICF over coaching supervision?

The most succinct answer is maturation of the profession of coaching.

When enough learning has accumulated in a profession, there is the possibility that some experienced practitioners become “big beginners”. I heard a story once about petroglyphs created by a certain indigenous people that depict stages of human development. There were four stages: baby, adolescent, adult and wise learner or big beginner. As explained to me, the big beginner is one who has a great deal of life experience and who also has the openness and curiosity of the baby – that amazing wide-eyed curiosity and openness to learning.

Coaching is quite well defined, has increasingly precise competencies, has multiple well-grounded theories and methods and has emerging research. What comes next, I believe, is deep wisdom. The work here goes beyond technique into a space of gentle and profound inquiry about ourselves, our relationships and our clients. It cannot be learned through instruction; it can be acquired through observation and reflection in a never ending dance of knowing and not knowing.

That the International Coach Federation has embraced Coaching Supervision for all levels of experience marks an important new phase – those who enter the world of super-vision can anticipate discoveries only available to the big beginner. Want to explore supervision? Contact me! sam@sammagill.com.