The 4 territory model introduced earlier can also be used to guide the supervisor in structuring the Supervision conversation.
In this context it takes the form shown to the right.
Having contracted with the coach, and identified a coachee to work with and the reason for bringing them to supervision, the supervision conversation can then cover:
- Bringing the whole system into the room - Gather information on the whole supervisor-coach-coachee-work system by enquiring about or noticing across the 3 Worlds and 4 Territories. Generally attention will focus initially on the Work System, then the Coach System, and then the Supervisor System. The Supervisor has access to information within themselves about the Coach and Work systems, as well as about the here and now of the Supervision session itself, which they can contribute.
- Connecting what needs to connect - Having got the system into the room, the coach can begin to see the gaps, contradictions, conflicts, blind-spots, either-or’s, etc in what is present, either directly themselves or though interventions by the supervisor. Seeing these gaps may shift how the coach sees what is going on in their coaching and so free them up to have new choices - and sometimes they will need the help of the supervisor in making connections and filling in the gaps.
- Creating new possibilities and meanings - A shift in seeing what needs to connect may be all that the coach needs to be able to return to their coaching with new options. Or they may need new ways of looking at the situation. This may involve reframing the situation so that new options appear. The supervisor seeks to discern and enable the shift the coachee needs to make to have new choices in their work.
- Intervening - The final step is to help the coach ground the insights they have gained from the supervision and be clear about what they will do differently or how they will be differently in the next coaching session. If the coach has made a clear shift during the supervision session, then this stage may be less about designing specific interventions and more about helping the coach maintain their shifted state.
The skills necessary to apply this model successfully are implied by the elements of the supervision conversation outlined above. Key among these are:
- Bringing the system fully into the room - like spinning plates at the circus, the supervisor seeks to energise all elements of the system simultaneously so that a synthesis can emerge and the whole be seen
- Creating a space in which the coach can be aware of as much of this system as possible so that they are able to connect what needs to be connected
- Being sensitive to as much of the system that has been brought into the room as possible so that the supervisor is also able to become aware of what needs to connect and so, if necessary, help the coach make the connections themselves.