Most coaches I meet share a common value of service; service to others, service to community, service to our profession, service to the cause of social progress and societal well-being. I applaud and feel gratitude for this element in our field and, I also recognize that implementing that value in each of the contexts requires more clarity to be consistently successful. I engage with coach-clients as both a mentor coach and as a coaching supervisor and find both modalities to be reciprocally enriching. In hindsight, I cannot imagine serving colleagues without having invested in my own professional development for each of these practices.
I will confess to thinking early on that by being an effective ICF Master Certified Coach I was prepared to be an effective mentor coach and supervisor. I quickly realized that this is the path of development. Until we can self-observe that we don’t know what we think we do, new learning is challenging if not impossible to embrace and integrate. Coaches around the world often ask me, “what is the experience of working as a coach’s coach and how will I know I am serving in a useful way?” There is great wisdom in this question for the coach’s coach partnership is rewarding and also demands a high degree to self-regulation and self-mastery to consistently serve another’s path of development.
After twelve years as a coach educator and certified mentor coach and four years as a coaching supervisor, I’ve discovered some very specific qualities and traits for being effective. These are foundational and, consistent excellence arrives when this trait and quality development is combined with acquiring the skills and behaviors for the ‘doing’ of mentor coaching and coaching supervision.
While I began my own development journey to be a coach’s coach with some of these qualities and traits in my tool kit, I now see that the expansion of both is only limited by my courage to stretch beyond knowing into a state of being borderless in my service to clients.
While I began my own development journey to be a coach’s coach with some of these qualities and traits in my tool kit, I now see that the expansion of both is only limited by my courage to stretch beyond knowing into a state of being borderless in my service to clients. It is a lifelong learning journey to strengthen these qualities and traits that richly rewards me with collegial relationships with coaches who achieve excellence and keep on striving, in service to others.
Janet Harvey, MCC ,CEO inviteCHANGE, has 30 years of executive and entrepreneurial experience with 12,000+ coaching hours, primarily in organizational and executive leadership engagements.