Supervision is too expensive, said the coach
“Supervision is too expensive” said the coach.
Relative to what, I asked?
Research in 2006 by Hawkins and Schwenk showed that 19% of organisations considered supervision ‘too expensive’. Individual coaches often cite cost as a negative factor and a reason not to enter into supervision on a regular basis.
As a coach supervisor, I have to challenge this view and ask “expensive relative to what?”
Think of the things we easily purchase or consume without really thinking about it:
- A pizza for two at a local restaurant (£35-£45?).
- A quality haircut (£25-£40?).
- An aromatherapy or sports massage (£40+?).
- A counselling session (£50+?).
- Attending a public training workshop for our CPD (£150-£300?).
These are all discretionary expenses (unless you really need counselling!) and are about your personal priorities. It’s recognised that coach supervision is not mandatory but highly recommended by the leading coach associations.
Ask yourself where supervision sits in that pecking order. Would you prioritise that take-away over a session with your supervisor? Hopefully, with less indigestion afterwards!
So, committing to a single or series of coaching supervision sessions is a relative thing when it comes to money.
Perhaps it’s more about how much you value yourself and your own learning and development.
Perhaps it’s about how much you charge your coaching clients?
Here’s a way to take this issue forward. Calculate your average coaching rate across your clients, either by the session or by the hour, then compare that to the quote from a supervisor.
Remember that coach supervisors invest heavily in their training, qualifications, and (often) ongoing accreditation, so isn’t it reasonable that they add a small percentage – say 10% - for the additional skills and knowledge they bring, to your average coaching rate?
Try focusing on some of the benefits of supervision rather than the cost:
- Provides a safe space to reflect on your concerns, issues, and challenges.
- Opportunity to refresh and hone your coaching skills and tools.
- Decide on any special interventions needed for your client or next session.
- Gain new insights, develop strengths, or explore development areas.
- Dispel any collusion, hidden agendas, and potential systemic issues.
- Deal with ethical dilemmas in a mature and principled way.
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