Coach mentoring, coach supervision – the difference


mentor-coachingAre you a coach, wondering whether to look for coach mentoring or coach supervision?  What’s the difference between the two?  Your time and money are precious, so how do you decide which to invest in?

Here’s how I would differentiate between the two:

Coach mentoring:

  • Gets you ready for accreditation (the International Coach Federation) mandates 10 hours of mentor coaching
  • Supports and challenges you to build your coaching competencies
  • Can involve you providing a recording of your coaching, and listening to it with your coach mentor, to identify your strengths and development areas related to the competencies
  • Alternatively involves coaching 1-1 in a small group, with feedback from yourself, your peers and your coach mentor against the competencies.  For example, a weekend of mentor coaching might look something like this.

Coach supervision:

  • Might include the observed coaching as above, but is also much broader:
  • Qualitative – supporting you to coach in ways that are courageous, skilful and ethical, asking “is this the best you could be doing?”
  • Developmental – developing your coaching through feedback, guidance, role modelling, and helping you to self-supervise through reflective practice.
  • Resourcing – supporting you when doubts and insecurities arise, and providing you with a space to process what you have absorbed from your coachee or their system.
  • You might bring a client case to discuss; or an ethical issue that has emerged; or something related to who you are being as a coach…or anything else that will enable you to learn and grow
  • While coaching supervision is not (yet) mandatory, I recommend 1 hour of supervision for every 12 hours of coaching or 1 for every 5 for a beginner.  You can read my article Stay Sharp, Stay Safe in Coaching at Work to find out why coaches choose to invest in supervision.

If you have more questions, feel free to pick up the phone or email me for a chat.  I am a coach mentor and a coach supervisor, so I can help you to make the right decision for you.