Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

Hello All
I find it difficult to communicate clearly with some coaches about 'boundaries'. Could it be that I am unaware of my own 'blind-spots'?
I recently had a supervision experience where the client - a very new coach- may have felt the need to 'attack' … by becoming very defensive (and I guess I briefly felt attacked too) especially when I found myself in corner of being coached by my client. Awkward, but lots to learn from this!
I want to hear from the members here:
Are any of you doing supervision with coaches?
How do you go about it in the SF way?
What would you do if a supervisee attempts to change roles and tries to coach you?
I am asking this because I am a POD Leader for Next year’s Global Coaching Convention --- here in South Africa and will do more coaching of coaches that ever before…
(Want to know more please feel free to ask – invitation to follow later)
Thank you for all the good input I am hoping for.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Elta

Sorry it's taken a while to give you some kind of answer - many of us have been at the SOLWorld conference in Texel, as you will have noticed!

Jenny and I have discussed this we do SF supervision of coaches, both in-company and with professional coaches. A thought from each of us:

Mark: This is the value of starting the SF way with 'what am I impressed with?'. When we affirm what has gone well, it seems to dramatically increase the openness of the supervisee to listen and take on board the comments which follow.

Jenny: Similarly, using the scaling tool to ask the supervisee where they currently stand and then to explore what's going well so far lets them know that you are interested in this. It makes it much easier to then explore how to get further up the scale in a less defensive manner.

What to do if the supervisee attempts to change roles - we would say that this sounds like a different conversation. There is then a discussion about whether/when to have it, and when to keep on with supervision. It would not necessarily be a bad thing in our view - but if you are supposed to be supervising them...
Thanks to both of you, Mark and Jenny,
(I was in Texel... with you in spirit...)
Your reflections and comments have provided much to work with – also for the future. In our follow-up session yesterday, she took the lead before we even got to the “What went well…?” by explaining that she was under severe work pressure and felt that she “failed” – and not being able to accept her falling back on the scaling question. Said she needed to “justify” her failure. During the discussion of whether to keep on with supervision or finding her another supervisor we could affirm her concerns, renew the contract and set some new goals.
(PS. My client is a “devout” Integral Coach with strong views on Positive Psychology)
Hi Elta
I don't know exactly what the contract is between you but this sounds to me like a situation where you have to slow down - pause for a while - while she is being heard. I would let her continue to talk, without interruption - and with long silences to let her start again - while listening very intently for clues about what she wants and what resources she may have. "Oh .. that's difficult .. you seem to be the kind of person who ... So what you want is ..."
Best wishes,

Hi Jenny,
Since context is important let me give a little background. The “main client” is a company where are busy with an OD intervention. So basically the contract is based on a “mandate”. These are 5 HR professionals - studying with various schools of coaching (of their choice). They had to commit to so many hours of supervision once a month as part of the OD intervention, or the company will stop paying for their coach training.
I agree with the going slow – always works for me and I am convinced that is way she felt comfortable in requesting a follow-up session to as she put it “tie up loose ends”.
Having "two clients" is not always easy or ideal.....
I agree with mark, I'd add that I have 3 different situations:
1 - when I'm spv (with my jung client), never happened that s/he try to change the roles, but I think I won't allow it, using questions like: "wich kind of expectation do you have from this meeting ?, ...", in order to re-drive the process;
2 - very different is when we are in an intervision meeting (that I prefer), or
3 - in intervision, where are invited also supervisees; in these cases the dynamics of the session allows the change of the rolls and, often, arrives a very deep and powerful dyalog/discussion on the theme on the table.
I learned this approach from my spv, sometime he arranges a meeting involving also his spv (on topics very important) and other supervisees, like me. There are always really important outcomes.
ciao riccardo
Hi Riccardo
I have never come across “intervision”. Your spv sounds like quite a creative person – and I would like to know musch more of your work and experiences. Please, will you give more details – how do you think it can work for peer supervision?
Thanks for sharing,
hi Elta
my spv was my coach when I was manager in arthur andersen (until 1988), he is not only creative but also very incisive in supporting our decision processes.
I am a SF change manager and my core activity is to support manager (inside their company) both in re-designing their new function and to enter, effectively, in their new roll; I realize it through Coaching sessions (individually and some time in team).
About intervision: it is a team of Coaches and Counsellors (consultant and psychologists), we meet every month (or on demand, if there are urgent problems); every partecipant, who needs support, propose his theme; our coordinator, few days before, send the agenda, so we all know what we will discuss about; the meeting is a SF brain storming (or brain dancing) and the problem is viewed from all the different points of view; we are also constellators so (often) at the end we do a constellation in order to verify the result of the meeting. The length of the meeting is about half a day and usually we face 3 - 4 themes.
if you need more infos, don't hesitate
ciao riccardo
Many thanks Riccardo, this is very helpful. I'll give it a lot of thought... and if I need more, I shall surely ask,
ciao for now
Just a word about intervision - we use this kind of peer supervision too, much more that supervisor/supervisee relationships. It helps make clear that there is learning in the process for everyone!
thank you mark
it is very ... very important what you outline: It helps make clear that there is learning in the process for everyone!
bye learning itself and for our change management
ciao riccardo





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