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The supervisor’s wardrobe … what size are your boots?

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I was given a compliment the other day, and immediately experienced a “splitness” in myself.  Part of me was really chuffed and flattered at the recognition. Another part of me felt anxious… “don’t get too big for your own boots Michelle” came the echo of a familiar parental voice. I also experienced some anxiety about

Because you’re worth it!

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As helping practitioners we spend most of our days supporting other people to develop. But just like the apocryphal Cobbler’s children…. many of us find it much harder to dedicate time to our own development.  When we are running our own consultancy it’s tough knowing what will genuinely bring a return on investment.  Often that

When is over, over…? (Part 2)

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When we train as coaches, most programmes give a lot of attention to the start of the coaching relationship. How to set up the contract, how to establish rapport, the importance of setting goals or establishing a pre-agreed end point.  However, certainly in my own training, much less attention was paid to how the coaching

When did you last check in the passenger mirror to review your coaching practice?

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If you, like me, have been driving since you were 17, then you may have experienced that stomach churning moment when you narrowly avoid an accident. The last time this happened to me (yes, it’s happened more than once!) I was about to overtake on a motorway, and having checked my mirrors, I began to

The dark side of rapport

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As a practitioner within the helping professions, it is highly likely that you are skilled at developing a good sense of connection with your clients.  We call it rapport. We tend to think of rapport as a good thing – however as a supervisor I often witness the difficulties that arise precisely because of our

A supervision puzzle…

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I was working with a group of student coaches the other day, explaining the role of supervision in improving our coaching practice.  At the end of the session there was a Q&A and one student asked when I am working with a supervisee “if I ever couldn’t find a solution?”.  It was an interesting question.

Getting the best of both worlds!

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I hosted an AC webinar last month with Peter Hawkins and he commented that when we think we are facing an “either/or” decision, we would benefit from considering that the way forward very often lies in a “third way”. That resonated for me. I mention this because last week myself and Carol Whitaker presented our

Sharing what’s similar to provoke what’s different

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This is all about what is going on for the Supervisor themselves.  Just like Eyes 1 & 4 – this could be about the “here and now” or of course a supervisor may well have their own baggage which they bring into the mix. The usefulness of this “eye” is connected to the supervisor’s ability

When is over, over…?

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When we train as coaches, most programmes give a lot of attention to the start of the coaching relationship. How to set up the contract, how to establish rapport, the importance of setting goals or establishing a pre-agreed end point.  However, certainly in my own training, much less attention was paid to how the coaching

Supervision: When What’s Happening Here Mirrors What Happens There

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The next blog in this series examines eye 5 of the Seven-Eyed Model:  The relationship between Supervisor and coach. Diagram taken from Hawkins & Smith (2006) and adapted by Michelle Lucas This fifth eye suggests that the relationship between the supervisor and supervisee can hold useful information regarding what was happening in the original coaching

Sometimes it really is all about “me”!

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Perhaps a bit conceitedly, I pride myself on giving pretty good attention to the client even when my wider life is all rather busy.  Of course, in reality there are still times when, my attention wanders and I’m distracted by what is going on for me in the moment ….and in doing so, what might

Getting too close? Remember to ‘temperature check’ your relationship with your coachee

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In Part four of this blog series about the “7 eyed Model” for coaching reflection and supervision, I’d like to share my experiences of looking at my work through the third ‘eye’: which is all about the relationship as it develops between coach and client. In most cases, it is probably true that there is

Why did you do what you did?

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Looking at your coaching technique reveals more that you might think. In Part Three of this blog series about the “7 eyed Model” for coaching reflection and supervision, I’d like to share my experiences of looking at my work through the second ‘eye’ of Supervision: The Intervention which is effectively the tools, techniques or questions

The first ‘eye’: What ‘lies beneath’ …

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What do we really know about the client as they enter the room? In Part Two of this blog series about the “7 eyed Model” for coaching reflection and supervision, I’d like to share my personal reflections about looking through the first ‘eye’: The Client System. We could be forgiven when reading some coaching text books

Once a coaching question is asked, you can’t go back…

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I remember when I was training as a coach that I held a belief that for every coaching situation there would be one intervention that was “perfect” for the matter in hand. And yet there were so many questions that I could ask or not ask – and so many avenues to explore once a

The paradox of creating dependence and independence in supervision

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The other day I reached out to a supervisee who I had supported to attain Accreditation.  I had not heard from her for a while…..  This was not unusual – often the intensity of the Accreditation process means that people “lay low” for a while gathering a different kind of energy for their supervision in

What does learning to drive and engaging in coaching supervision have in common?

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Today I was delighted to deliver (to over 100 members and 100 non-members) a webinar entitled “What’s so Super about Supervision?”.  To help illustrate how coaching supervision can help our practice I told the delegates a story about how I learned to drive … the story (I hope) helps bring to life the learning cycle1

Copying with pride : how team coaching is informing my group supervision work

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I carry a limiting belief, that I am more effective in one-to-one situations than I am in group situations.  Like all limiting beliefs, when I look for evidence that this is true … not much exists. However, what I do know to be true is that I feel more comfortable and confident in one to

The Sounds of Silence

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So, how long can you wait before breaking a silence? Of course each individual’s tolerance level is different and, more than that, silence often prompts a whole host of gremlins to jump onto our shoulder. Was my question not sharp enough?  Should I offer a follow up question?  Have I lost them? What did I

When’s the last time you pressed your pause button?

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As coaches we work to give our clients good space to think, reflect and work out how to fulfil their potential. But how often do we do this for ourselves? Since living in Weymouth, as far as possible I make a habit of taking a morning walk by the sea. An opportunity to engage in

How busy is your internal editor?

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When you come to supervision there is an underlying assumption that if you are to do quality work, you will need to feel safe to do so. Typically, you will have had a contracting discussion which, amongst other things, will have underlined that the relationship is a confidential one. And yet, from time to time

How do you manage your magpie tendencies?

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Once upon a time, I remember having a real thirst for gathering lots and lots of techniques that I could use with my coaching clients. I felt a little bit like a magpie – constantly attracted to bright shiny new techniques and taking them back to my nest to nurture! However, over time that has

What triggers you to get your scissors out of your pocket?

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At the Supervision Conference at Oxford Brookes a few weekends ago, Guy Claxton was the keynote and he told this story. Once upon a time a man saw a moth just as it was breaking out of its chrysalis. He watched the moth struggle to get through the casing – it seemed to have spurts

A day in the life of a coach: What’s it really like?!

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As part of International Coaching Week we gathered a group for discussion around “A day in the life of a Coach”. Those who attended were either just getting started in a new venture as a coach or were thinking of doing so in the near future. Michelle and Lorenza shared some of the highlights and

When could you invest in your development?

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Following on from our last blog about investing time, money, and directed energy in your own future, we thought it might be helpful to continue the conversation. In our Executive Coaching practices, we see critical moments when it is particularly worth backing yourself. There appears to be a “sweet spot” for development at these times, where

When did you last invest in yourself?

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This is a question one of us found ourselves asking a client recently. Unhappy at work, he started to compare himself to his peers and felt “less than”. It was when he started to lament the lack of leadership development he’d been given that the question was posed. His first response was to describe the energy

Using psychometrics in executive coaching

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In the context of development, a psychometric tool is a way of looking at individual differences and feeding that back to raise self-awareness. Often using a tool can give people the language to help them think about them self in relation to others, which can raise their social awareness. In turn this can make a

Drawing together a rationale for developing strong coaching capability in organisations

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We’ve been laying out a theme, that developing internal coaching capability is a great idea. Let’s take a step back and look at why we think that as a leader, using strong coaching skills and a coaching approach to your work will lead to better outcomes. One way we’ve found to explain this is below.

What are you doing for International Coaching Week?

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International Coaching Week (ICW) will be from 15th – 21st May 2017 and is an annual week-long global celebration of the coaching profession. It is used to raise awareness of coaching in business, sports and in all walks of life. Coaches all over the globe are getting involved in promoting the benefits that flow from