Professional coaches who are serious about coaching go to supervision. It’s a chance for us to get some different and wider perspectives on our work. I went to a session this morning with five others. Maintaining strict confidentiality, one person talks about an issue or problem they’ve come up against. The other members of the group then reflect and come up with one or two questions, and ask these directly. The raiser-of-the-issue doesn’t need to respond, just note which question gets their attention.
Usually there is one question that goes straight to the real heart of the matter like an arrow to the bullseye. I call them zingers. You know when you have received a zinger, and you can often see when you have fired one. There’s a sudden recognition about the part that you are playing in the whole piece, and alongside that recognition, the knowledge about what you need to do. From feeling stuck, you move in a single bound to knowing exactly what action you need to take (generally it’s the one that’s hard to hear and the one you’ve been avoiding).
Ouch. In a good way.