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Dr Louise Sheppard

How to become a better coaching supervisee

Theme: Approach/School/Theory
Area: Supervision
Type: Research (with examples of how it could be applied in practice)

Session on Thursday, Jun 15th, 13:50
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This session focuses on how supervisees can get the most from their coaching supervision and how supervisors can best support them to do so. There is a lack of empirical evidence about the role of supervisees in the coaching process; the theoretical literature and research on coaching supervision largely focuses on supervisors. Yet it is more challenging and exposing to be a supervisee than a supervisor and the positive mind-set adopted, active role played and techniques used by supervisees are vital to the success of supervision.

I share the lived-in experiences of supervisees from my recent grounded theory study and provide insights into what helps and hinders supervisees’ learning during supervision as they mature. Findings suggest that supervisee maturation can follow three stages and that how the supervisee interacts with their supervisor is affected by relative stage. Supervisees will benefit from learning how to step into their authority and maximise the pace of their learning. Supervisors will benefit by increasing their understanding of supervisees’ experiences and having some practical ideas about how to offer supervisee-led supervision. Professional bodies, coaching providers, coach training organisations and learning and development practitioners will gain insight into how to support supervisees to maximise their learning.


Dr Louise Sheppard is an executive coach and coaching supervisor. She has been coaching for over 20 years and has worked with over 50 organisations globally. Louise works with internal and external coaches on both an individual and group basis. Louise’s background is in business, leadership development and change management. She started my career with Unilever Plc. and then became a management consultant with Coopers & Lybrand working on people issues. Louise has run her own coaching business Clarity, Clarity, Clarity Limited for over 20 years. She is on the advisory board for a social enterprise, Rising Minds, which provides coaching and mindfulness services to commercial organisations and to individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford it in the community. The customised programmes are designed to foster resilience in the face of life’s difficulties. Louise has a professional doctorate in coaching and mentoring awarded by Oxford Brookes, UK and an MA in professional coaching from Middlesex University, UK. She is keen to share the learning from her research with the coaching and supervision communities through speaking at conferences, writing articles and integrating the insights in her work.