Coaching Supervision vs. Coach Mentoring

Coaching Supervision v/s Mentoring

If you’re a coach and want to enhance your coaching abilities further, you may explore whether coaching mentoring or coaching supervision can help you. But what is the dissimilarity between the two? Here is an article to help coaches choose which program they should choose to benefit from.

Table of Contents

What is coaching supervision?

Coaching supervision involves developing a secure space for the coach to acknowledge the issues they face in being a master. The major goal is understand what the coach thinks and how they think about their coachees, their coaching sessions, or their coaching style. Next comes the skills they need to move ahead during their coaching practices and what brought them to the situation of coaching supervision. It is not compulsory but highly recommended by the ICF. However, it has a major role in the EMCC (i.e., European Mentoring and Coaching Council) structure and a major requisition for their qualification. 

There is no fixed duration for coaching supervision, and it can be undertaken all through the professional life of the coach as and when their ICF qualification is renewed in three years.

What is coach mentoring?

Coach mentoring is not the same as coaching supervision because it mainly concentrates on the coach’s skills. Its objective is to enhance the competency level and align it with what’s needed to be credentialed. 

With coach mentoring, the coach is coached and trained about their coaching abilities instead of practice building, work-life balance, and other topics not relevant to enhancing their coaching abilities. It is a requisition for MCC, PCC, ACC, and ICF credential filing but is not needed for EMCC.

A coach’s mentoring can be done through a live meeting or a recorded session. It allows the coach to discover what needs improvement and direction on how to boost it.

So what’s the difference between coaching supervision and coach mentoring?

If you as a coach are confused about choosing coaching supervision or coach mentoring, you should first know the difference between the two. Once you know the differences, you can better choose a program and invest.

Coach mentoring:

  • Prepares you for accreditation (the ICF) with mandatory 10 hours of coaching.
  • Aids and challenges the coach to develop their coaching skills.
  • It can include recording the coaching and listening to it with the mentor to know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on the development areas.
  • Allows coaching one-on-one in a small group, with feedback from you, your coach mentor, and peers. 

Coach supervision

  • Involves observed coaching as coach mentoring but in a broader way.
  • Qualitative: Allows you to coach using methods that are ethical, skillful, and brave, questioning, “is this the best you can offer”?
  • Developmental: Allows you to develop your coaching method via guidance, feedback, and self-supervising using reflective processes.
  • Resourcing: Helps you when second thoughts and insecurities arise and offers you a space to acknowledge all you have learned from the coachee and the system.
  • It involves discussing a client case, an ethical problem, or something that enhances your coaching skills or helps you learn and grow.
  • Coaching supervision is not mandatory; 1 hour of supervision is recommended for 12 hours of coaching. 

Coaching supervision offers consistent development of a coach at any point in time in areas relevant to their coaching practice. And mentoring is about seeking professional help to accomplish better coaching competencies and abilities as the suggested credential level needs.

When should coaches take up coaching supervision?

Regular coaching supervision, as per the rule of thumb, around 5 to 6 times per year, will help the coach discover different coaching areas, enhance their coaching efficiency, and generate high value for their clients.

How to find a coach supervisor?

Your perfect coaching supervisor should testify to the checklist mentioned below: they should know the working of corporate life and companies and consistently remain connected with the changing developments and regulations.

They should also have sound psychological understanding and know how to choose the right learning style to customize their style to yours. In simple words, you should find a coach supervisor who will:

  • Develop a secure and confidential place to work in.
  • Showcase what practice means for you according to your context.
  • Stress on being available in the moment at the time of supervision.
  • Gives you access to your awareness.
  • Recognize changes in the awareness and motivate it to grow.
  • Challenge you to find your stuck spots.
  • Help you solve your dilemmas and enhance your thinking
  • Support you in managing complexities and systemic problems
  • Motivate ethical accountability
  • Guide self-care and consistent wellbeing
  • Helps you enhance your coaching work quality and continue learning.
  • Motivate you to take charge of your professional and personal development.

Your coach supervisor should be someone with good experience, not just as an executive coach but as a coach supervisor. They should know the ethics and professional standards to understand how their work is consistently supervised. 

Reflection and reflective practice in coaching supervision

Supervisors accept that coaching supervision has three functions: 

  • Developmental or formative: Supervision allows the coach to sharpen their abilities, competencies, and efficiency. It helps the coach enhance their internal supervisor and become reflective practitioners.
  • Resourcing or restorative: With supervision, a coach can learn to handle their emotions and keep their well-being a top-notch priority. It provides a supportive area for the coach to understand what they have learned from their client and his system.
  • Qualitative or normative: A coach can adopt an ethical approach and better practice standards with supervision. It motivates the coach to be honest and brave and provides an opportunity to look at what the coach may require to refer the client for help.

Reflective practice

Reflective practice is the base of professional growth. It is all about using experience and transforming insights into strategies for personal development. It includes a constant addition of daily activities to create awareness and help self-management and better decision-making. It helps:

  • To learn to pay attention
  • Notice patterns
  • Change what you see and how you see

Reflective practice is about knowing and drafting what you’re learning on a momentary basis. This learning helps coaches to connect to their goals and aspirations.


With reflection, learning becomes customized, integrated, and internalized. It is about connecting an increment to a broader learning viewpoint to witness the bigger picture. 

Benefits of coaching supervision

Coaching supervision is not literally supervision. It provides the coaches a chance to consistently focus on professional development through reflection and dialog in a secure, helpful, confidential environment.

Supervisors and coaches work together to assess coach practices to enhance their skills and develop positive effects for client companies:

Coach supervision benefits five major fields:

Competence: This allows coaches to enhance their present competencies and gain new ones.

Boundaries: Mentions that the coach is bound by their professional abilities and will recommend other experts if the executives need them. 

Context: Enables the coaching delivered by the coach to be relevant, helpful, and effective.

Integrity: Aid coaching delivered with compassion and honesty to ensure complete confidentiality and code of conduct are followed.

Professionalism: Working professionally to benefit the client and their company.

Benefits of coaching supervision:

  • Make sure the ethics and standards are adhered to along with confidentiality. 
  • Set up suitable boundaries
  • Manage contractual problems
  • Develop better and innovative viewpoint and systemic thinking
  • Acquire insights from coaching engagements
  • Develop skills to work with difficult clients.
  • Gain self-awareness and use it in the right way.

How can uExcelerate help with coaching supervision?

Well, coaching includes deep transformative conversations. A coach who wants to help their clients accomplish their true potential looks out for ways to enhance their abilities. Coaching supervision offers an environment where reliability, curiosity, discovery, and sharing add to a collaborative learning space. The goal is to work on developing the coach’s ability by providing better support and growth opportunities.

uExcelerate offers a multi-directional, integrated, smart, and systematic method by adding transparency to the coaching practices with full reflection. It is an AI-based platform that helps coaches sharpen their skills through a consistent journey of learning and growth. The platform provides supervision to coaches through the smart feedback feature where they can learn about what has been left unnoticed and what needs to be learned. The platform offers coaches the right opportunity to grow and be in service of their clients.


The goal of coach supervision is to develop and offer a competent standard to work as a coach keeping clients’ wellbeing and best interests in mind. The supervision space includes questions, concerns, issues, insights, and challenges that a coach may face in their due career and suggest remedies to come out of it. So, why not make it integral to your consistent development and learn your way through it? 

Choose the right coaching supervision program for you as a coach and boost your awareness and relationship with the coachees. Enhance your skills, change your viewpoint and awaken a more adaptable, innovative, and dedicated coach.

Sita Ravinatula

Sita Ravinatula