Nobody needs a supervisor, but everybody should want one

In my ideal world, everybody has access to supervision.

And I’m saying “super-vision” because the term “supervisors” will, to most people, be associated with a “superior” looking over your shoulder and trying to dictate, assess, and/or control your work. And that’s really not what supervision is about in my books.

Therapy and social work were the first fields to recognize that people carry a lot of weight in their jobs. They’re exposed to a lot of emotions, suffering and stress. So, naturally, as human beings, we are affected by the environment we work in and the people we’re working with and for.

Thing is that while this may be enhanced in therapy and social work, it’s certainly true for all jobs. Perhaps more so when we actively work with people, but really, all jobs are demanding in some way or other. To varying degrees, sure, but no matter what job you’re doing, I believe you would greatly benefit from…

  • having a space where you can freely reflect on your work, how it’s affecting you, and how you might do it better;
  • a confidential and trusted relationship within which you can take a step back from your busy schedule so that you may recognize ethical crossroads, figure out how to navigate them, and remind yourself of the big picture as to make better decisions;
  • a second pair of eyes, ears, and sensations to open up important questions and conversations with yourself that you wouldn’t otherwise have considered, or made time for;
  • being able to talk to someone who’s trained to hold space, actively listen and suspend their own personal judgements, so that you can release whatever’s been building up inside of you emotionally as a result of your work.

In a nutshell, that’s the normative, formative, and restorative function of supervision as I know and love it. And I believe that every teacher, lawyer, consultant, parent, politician and accountant would see significant shifts in their mental health, productivity and wellbeing as a result.

Traditionally, supervisors are senior practitioners, with a long history in the field of their supervisee, or at least significantly further ahead. But since the world of work develops nauseatingly fast, I think it’s a lot more important these days to help someone figure out their own way of working, rather than offering advice and suggestions from a position of knowledge and experience. That’s why the lines between coaching and supervision have become increasingly blurry, and it’s an ongoing debate amongst my supervision students.

But moving away from having to have the answers, it allows the supervisor to facilitate a learning process that encourages the supervisee to take ownership and responsibility for their work, it fosters autonomy and psychological wellbeing in the workplace; and it allows trained supervisors to work well beyond the traditional boundaries of their respective field.

So if you’re reading this, and what you do on a daily basis is pretty demanding, I’d encourage you to consider looking for a supervisor. I’d be be more than happy to explore working together or to connect you to someone that I think would be a better fit. I know that many coaching supervisors will consider taking on clients from other lines of work.

After all, once you free yourself from having to offer advice and solutions, but instead you create a space to reflect and learn, a whole world of value opens up – across disciplines.

With that in mind, very few people need a supervisor, but everybody should want one.

With Love


New Content: How to have effective coaching consultations & discovery calls? TaC76

Consultations arguably are the most important conversation coaches have with their clients, as they are instrumental in whether we will have more conversations or not. Without more conversations, we cannot help anyone. So in this conversation, Yannick and Siwash discuss the importance of consultations in coaching and the key elements of a successful discovery call: Having a plan, why we should stop trying to convince anyone, how we can manage time and structure, how to best set goals and avoid goal setting pitfalls, and how we can engage the client’s emotions and senses to create a powerful experience that makes it more likely that the client will want to move forward with coaching. We talk about the importance of exploring the cost of inaction and emphasize the need for coaches to slow down and create a safe space for clients and why it’s so important to respect their autonomy, rather than trying to influence them. The conversation concludes with a reminder to focus on building long-term relationships rather than just transactional interactions.


  • Consultations are crucial in coaching as they open the doors to potential coaching relationships.
  • A discovery call involves setting goals, understanding the current situation, and identifying challenges.
  • Engaging the client’s emotions and senses in goal setting is important for creating a powerful coaching experience.
  • Shifting from convincing to assessing helps create a sense of trust and authenticity in the conversation.
  • Having a plan, managing time effectively, and being flexible in the conversation are key elements of a successful consultation. Explore the cost of inaction with clients and ask them how they would feel if they’re in the same place years from now.
  • Create a safe space for clients to explore their emotions and make decisions.
  • Focus on serving clients rather than pleasing them and respect their autonomy.
  • Build long-term relationships with clients and prioritize the value of the relationship over the transactional time spent.