There was a coach who had worked with various teams in different industries worldwide. She was known for her ability to motivate and engage with various team members, but she faced a new challenge when she was assigned to coach a team of software engineers in a well-known propulsion systems company.

The team was led by a determined, old-school team leader who valued adherence to rigid guidelines. He would discipline and penalise team members if they said or did anything out of turn, which made it challenging for the coach to build relationships with them. The coach tried a few engagement strategies, but none proved to be effective.

She started by observing the team’s work process and identifying areas where she could provide guidance. However, the team leader was always hovering around, making it difficult for her to have one-on-one conversations with team members. The coach then tried to organize team-building activities, but the team leader refused to give them time off from work.

The coach decided to discuss the situation with her coaching supervisor, and during the session they established that the problem wasn’t with the team members but with the team leader’s management style. She made the decision to approach the team leader honestly and explain how his stringent guidelines were impacting the team’s morale and output. Although he initially resisted, he eventually conceded to giving the coach more freedom to interact with the team members. She also made a point of making sure he didn’t feel excluded or usurped by her actions.

With the team leader ‘s support, the coach was able to connect with team members on a personal level and understand their individual strengths and weaknesses. She encouraged the team leader to identify training programs that helped team members improve their skills and boost their confidence. The coach also encouraged open communication and feedback, which helped build trust between the team leader and his team.

Over time, the team’s performance improved significantly, and they started delivering high-quality software products within tight deadlines. The coach had successfully overcome the challenge of engaging with a team managed by a strong-minded team leader.

In conclusion, the coach’s decision to utilise supervision to help find a solution to her problem resulted in the fact she was able to establish a positive and productive relationship with the team, despite the potential obstacles posed by the team leader’s personality or leadership style and all parties benefited from the coaching process. Without supervision, this probably would have not worked out!


With the recent debacle in the UK regarding Lighthouse, many people are rightly concerned about the coaching community and are calling for stronger regulation.

The coaching community has successfully self-regulated for some time, and the community has come a long way to being more transparent and in having recognisable certifications awarded by representative bodies such as AC, EMCC, and the ICF.

Part of my coaching journey has been facilitated and empowered by having a fabulous mentor and accredited supervisor in the form of Dr. Clare Beckett-McInroy and she has recently encouraged me to get more involved in supervision, which is now being recognised by several bodies and adopted as a necessary element that every coach should be subject to. I believe that this stems from the helping professions/medical industry (plus education) and the success they have had in many departments by encouraging regular supervision sessions with a view to improving standards of service.

What is coaching SUPERVISION and why is it essential for coaching professionals?

Supervision is a key component of coaching that ensures the quality and effectiveness of coaching interventions. It involves a collaborative and reflective process between a coach and a supervisor, where the coach presents their coaching cases, and the supervisor provides feedback, guidance, and support.

The primary purpose of supervision is to enhance the coach’s skills, knowledge, and self-awareness, which ultimately leads to better outcomes for clients.

Supervision is essential for coaching professionals for several reasons. Firstly, it provides coaches with a safe and supportive space to reflect on their coaching practice. Through supervision, coaches can explore their strengths and weaknesses, identify blind spots, and develop strategies to improve their coaching skills. This reflective process helps coaches to become more self-aware and mindful of their actions, which can lead to better decision-making and more effective coaching interventions.

Secondly, supervision provides coaches with feedback on their coaching practice. Feedback from a supervisor can help coaches to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to address them. It can also help coaches to identify their strengths and build on them. Feedback from a supervisor is essential in ensuring that coaches are delivering high-quality coaching interventions that meet the needs of their clients.

Finally, supervision is essential for ensuring ethical practice in coaching. Coaches are required to adhere to ethical guidelines set out by professional bodies such as the International Coach Federation (ICF). Supervision provides coaches with guidance on ethical issues that may arise in coaching practice and helps them navigate these issues in a way that is consistent with ethical principles.


In conclusion, SUPERVISION is an essential component of coaching practice that ensures the quality and effectiveness of coaching interventions. It provides coaches with a safe and supportive space to reflect on their practice, receive feedback on their coaching interventions, and ensure ethical practice. The ICF is working on supervision competencies right now, and it is an essential requirement for you if you are applying for the Advanced Certification in Team Coaching (ACTC). EMCC and AC have required supervision for becoming an accredited coach practitioner for a number of years.

In my next article, I will look at some of the different perspectives and explore four different views of coaching supervision: traditional, humanistic, systemic, and integrative.


Reference publications used:

1. The International Coach Federation (ICF)

2. European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC)

3. Beckett-Mcinroy (