Supervision is making an important contribution to the
professional development and quality assurance of
consultants and executive coaches, and is becoming
a key differentiator in the marketplace. With the
growing professionalism of the organisation consulting
and executive coaching fields, supervision is central to
many formal qualifications in consulting and coaching.
As more consultants work independently or as ‘sole
practitioners’ in many of their assignments, there is a
growing need for time and space to reflect in a
The Ashridge approach has been subject of a number of articles and publications describing our perspective on Coach Supervision and our perspective on Consulting Supervision.
At Ashridge we see supervision as an essential quality
assurance process for coaches and consultants,
designed to ensure that the client benefits from a
consultant who is fit for purpose and equipped with the
insight and personal resourcefulness to be able to help.
Supervisor and consultant work in an on-going
relationship focusing on the working relationships in
which the consultant is engaged. In the same way,
those consultants work in an on-going relationship
with their clients focusing on the working relationships
in which the clients are engaged. In our view, much of
the power and effectiveness of supervision, both for
quality assurance and for development, stems from
the fact that here relationships are being mirrored in
relationships, with the possibility for new scrutiny and
At Ashridge we are inspired by a broadly relational
perspective on supervision, based on our personal
experience of what is most effective in coaching and
which themes and issues are at the core of the
process. A relational perspective bases itself on the
following core principles:
- Human beings are deeply motivated to be in relationship with others, so part of what we (consultant and supervisor) hope from this relationship might be to repeat our previous relational patterns and through awareness of this create better ones both within and outside this room.
- All content of supervision can be seen as
relational, i.e. supervisees are continually even if
subliminally linking relationships elsewhere (real
and imagined) to this one.
- This supervisory relationship itself is worth
exploring at all times, for the learning contained
- The supervisee’s experience of the supervisory
relationship is worth enhancing.