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Systemic Coaching Supervision: Responding to the Complex Challenges of Our Time

A Wright, M Walsh, S Tennyson Philosophy of Coaching: An International Journal 2019

A core challenge for coaching is to develop new paradigms that help coaches, and their clients, navigate today’s complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world. This paper explores the evolution of coaching to encompass a broader systemic, developmental perspective in response to ever increasing levels of complexity. We argue that if coaches are to remain relevant and fit for purpose they must engage in ongoing professional development and self-reflection and that this can be enhanced through a systemic, developmental approach to coaching supervision. We introduce and explore the Cycle of Developmental Supervision. Aligning with a Complex Adaptive Systems view of supervision and recognizing the centrality of “self” in coaching outcomes, the Cycle aims to increase reflexivity and breadth of systemic perspective, reflecting an evolution of complexity in thinking, meaning making and coach maturity. Finally, we will discuss implications for practice; suggesting the need for the coaching community to harness its diversity by engaging in a respectful dialogue that is essential to our collective evolution and transformation.

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