Reflect on your coaching with multiple lenses
Posted on: 15 Apr 2020
No doubt you are aware of the value of reflective practice in your coaching development. Despite this, your efforts may be in vain if you don’t have the tools to engage in reflective practice effectively. Too often, coaches focus on their own interventions when they reflect on their coaching and tend to overlook the other important influences in the coaching process.
Perhaps the most widely used tool for effective reflective practice is coaching supervision. Another tool which can also be used by coaches independently for ongoing reflective practice, is “The seven-eyed model of coaching supervision” (Hawkins & Schwenk, 2011).
Here’s an overview of the model with some guidelines for how you might work with it:
- Coachee and their context: Develop a “felt sense” (p. 30) for the client through reflecting on “what actually happened in the session with the coachee – what they saw, what they heard and what they felt” (p. 30), with particular attention to the coachee’s entry and exit to and from the session.
- Coach’s interventions: Reflect on how you worked with the coachee i.e. each stage of the coaching process, your interventions and possible alternative approaches you could have used.
- Relationship between the coach and the coachee: “Stand outside the relationship” (p. 32) and consider the relationship you and your coachee are co-creating. Pay attention to “the conscious and unconscious relational field in the coaching” (p. 31).
- Coach’s awareness: Turn your attention to your own self-awareness and any “re-stimulation of [your] own feelings that have been triggered by the work with [the] client” (p. 33) or any of your own blocks. Then, “explore how these feelings [or blocks] may relate to what the coachee is experiencing but is unable to articulate directly” (p. 33).
- Supervisory relationship: While this does not apply to a self-reflective practice, in a supervision session, your supervisor will expand the awareness around “what is happening in the relational field between the coach and the supervisor” (p. 33) and you may begin to see “similarities between the supervisor-coach relationship that replicates (or sometimes replicates by opposing) the relationship between the coach and the client” (p. 33).
- Supervisor self-reflection: Again, this does not apply to a self-reflective practice, but a supervisor can add a meta dimension to your reflection by considering the “supervisors’ ‘here and now’ experience which may in turn provide insight into the coach-coachee relationship.
- Wider context: Expand your reflection to include “the organizational, social, cultural, ethical and contractual context in which the coaching and supervision is taking place” (p. 35). This includes stakeholders and power and cultural dynamics “in order to illuminate the shift that the coachee may need to make a sustainable impact on their wider system” (p. 35).
If you would like to dive deeper into your reflective practice through coaching supervision, join a ReciproCoach supervision group: 2020 Ongoing Monthly Supervision Group 4.2, with three sessions over three months, is due to start later this month (only three places left – register here), and there are casual single session rounds available for registration across the next few months. Whether you join a supervision group or not, I encourage you to use the seven-eyed model to reflect on your coaching from multiple dimensions.
Hawkins, P., & Schwenk, G. (2011). The seven-eyed model of coaching supervision. In T. Bachkirova, P. Jackson & D. Clutterbuck (Ed.), Coaching & mentoring supervision (1st ed., pp. 28-40). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Supporting you in reflecting on your coaching practice,
Kerryn Griffiths, PhD, PCC and Global ReciproCoach Coordinator