Using resistance and ruptures to strengthen the supervisory relationship

Corrie, Sarah and Lane, David (2024) Using resistance and ruptures to strengthen the supervisory relationship. In: International Conference on Coaching Supervision 2024, 2 May 2024, Oxford.

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Developing expertise as a coaching supervisor entails more than imparting coaching-specific knowledge and experience but requires expertise in the delivery of supervision itself. Supervision is increasingly understood as a distinct area of specialism, one that supports coaches’ reflection, practice and development through a skilled synthesis of educational, monitoring and supportive functions. Yet, combining and synthesising these functions can give rise to many questions and dilemmas for supervisors and those they supervise, both in terms of designing supervisory practices that are optimal for coaches receiving supervision and in responding to issues arising from the moment-to-moment interactions in a supervision session itself. As the contexts in which supervision is delivered expand and diversify, the dilemmas relating to how to balance these different functions increase.

This conceptual paper considers, and offers ways of responding to, some of the dilemmas and challenges that arise when the educational, monitoring and supportive functions of supervision become misaligned, giving rise to resistance or ruptures within the supervisory relationship. The supervision literature as a whole suggests that these phenomena are common yet can be experienced as difficult to discuss openly. Where these experiences remain unspoken however, there is risk of a breakdown in the supervisory relationship, threatening both the effectiveness of supervision and potentially the coaching that is being supervised. Developing ways of conceptualising and working effectively with resistance and ruptures is therefore an important consideration for advancing the practice of supervision in the coaching field generally, and for adapting supervision to different contexts (including the professional setting in which the coaching is occurring, the nature of the coaching being delivered and the stage of coach career development to name but a few).

One approach to working with resistance and ruptures is the PURE Supervision Flower, developed by Corrie and Lane, a visual heuristic for assisting supervisors in identifying and enhancing specific areas of knowledge and skill that comprise the development of an effective approach. In brief, the PURE Supervision Flower comprises 12 petals each of which focuses on a specific area that is central to effective supervision and in which supervisors need to be skilled. These petals are grouped into four forms of activity captured by the acronym ‘PURE’ (thus, P=Preparing for supervision; U=Undertaking supervision; R=Refining supervision and E=Enhancing supervision). This framework, introduced and described in the paper, is grounded in the literatures of adult learning and practice education, supervision across professional groups and fields related to coaching including the literature on expert performance and data from other helping professions.

Through an exploration of how the PURE Supervision Flower can support a process of conceptualising, addressing and using resistance and ruptures to strengthen the working relationship, this paper seeks both to equip coaching supervisors with specific approaches they can use to enhance their practice as well as contribute to a collective understanding of the philosophies, purposes and practices that underpin this complex yet highly rewarding coaching specialism.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: coaching, experience, supervision
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Depositing User: Sarah Corrie
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 12:42
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 12:42

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