Author - Maggie João, PCC, EIA, Executive Coach, Coach Supervisor, Medical Coach -
I have a coaching supervisor colleague of mine who runs a coaching supervision school on the other side of the pond (I am based in Portugal and the school is based in the USA) and asked me to help him for the second time by delivering a pro-bono supervision session with a class of 17 students. Imagine 17! And this would be done virtually via zoom!!. I felt excited to be with them!
I agreed to do that since I believe learning is such a gem we have, not only as professionals but also as human beings, understanding what we have done and considering what has been done well and what could improve further or what skills we can deepen further . I also felt it was a great opportunity for me to learn in many aspects.
I was thrilled to join that virtual class room via zoom, where 17 students from all over the world, came together to share that two-hour journey. After our check-ins and understanding where people were located we got to the supervision piece. I felt it was interesting to bring them an approach which I normally don’t do – the suggestion circle. Since I got certified in 2012 I do more individual supervision, but group supervision is something that I would like to do more and to develop in my country.
This suggestion circle is a group supervision approach that gets the contribution of several involved, not only the coach who has volunteered to bring something to work on. So, from the 17 attendees, 8 offered to work in the closer circle together with me as the supervisor and the other class mate as the supervisee. In the contracting I explained the confidentiality, the time frame and how we would work together. The other 8 students who did not participate actively turned their cameras off, so we could feel more comfortable and owners of our safe space.
The first moments I managed as an individual session before opening up the space for the other 8 coaches to contribute. I invited them to express an intuition, make an observation, pose a question, offer a suggestion, etc., which related to what their class mate had brought. The moment was very rich taking into consideration the diversity of perspectives offered, and I really appreciate the various angles and depth that can be offered/reached in group supervision. The supervisee then selected one or two of these interventions and explored them further with me on a one on one basis, with the others watching. We had time for a second round of interventions and it was so interesting to see that the comments shared were much deeper than the ones presented by the coaches on the 1st round and also from coach to coach, the interventions built on the previous one (people were using much more the “and” rather than the “but” if you know what I mean!), creating a nice robust space for the supervisee.
At the end of the supervision discussion, we asked for everyone to turn their cameras on and to re-join actively the session, and they were invited to share their learnings and take-aways, which in turn were also very rich. Learning like, spotting judgements, calibration, parallel process and even own reflexion such as “how am I with regards to this?”.
This experience really brought me that great feeling demonstrated on an open smile, warm heart and a sensation of high five, I have when I am at a facilitative learning environment. I really like to share my experiences and to contribute to the enrichment of a coach’s journey. Imagine 17!
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