Coaching Supervision

William Winstone

My approach

My approach to supervision is influenced by my work as an executive coach 2006-present, sport psychologist 2000-present, and my training, accreditation and work as a humanistic psychotherapist 1994-2006. All my work has strong underpinnings from Gestalt, Transactional Analysis and Somatic/Formative psychology. I’m also influenced by my work as an inner-game tennis coach 1995-2006, and therapy and coaching supervisee 1995-present.

As a coach, I focus on my clients’ relationships with themselves, their teams and their organisations to deliver purposeful business outcomes. I’m both fascinated by how our deeper psychology impacts us at work, and determined to provide a service that creates value for supervisees, their clients and the world beyond. Consequently, I draw on Hawkins and Shohet’s (2012) and Hawkins and Smith’s (2013) 7 eyed model of supervision (see below) to help provide structure and different lenses for exploring supervision challenges. This systemic approach helps supervisor and supervisee to access different perspectives in the service of improved client outcomes.

A bit more about me

Since 2006 I have been a director of Performance1, with most of my time spent on 1-1 executive coaching, team coaching and management training. Organizational clients include Cancer Research, Barclays, PWC Consulting, M&G, Schroders, Severn-Trent, Dentsu Aegis Media, and The Royal Shakespeare Company. The remaining time has been devoted to sport psychology, principally developing athletes, coaches and leaders within GB Rowing, British Canoeing, UK Sport and Essex Cricket.

My early career started in business, including a graduate training with the John Lewis Partnership, before developing a thriving tennis coaching business, and at the same time training and practicing as a psychotherapist and sport psychologist. As well as learning over 20 years about how to help people develop, throughout my career I have been learning about my own evolving self and how I approach my challenges in the world.

Seven-eyed Model of Supervision 
(Hawkins & Shohet,1989,2000)

The seven ‘eyes’ are:

  1. The client situation
  2. The coach’s interventions
  3. The coaching relationship
  4. The coach
  5. The supervisory relationship and parallel process
  6. The supervisor
  7. The wider context

Development stages

Accessing different perspectives in all aspects of life is also key to the stages of Torbert’s Leadership Development Framework (LDF), which posits that developmental and stretching experiences, action learning, and working with a skilled guide can help us progress. The LDF explicitly states that later stages are more powerfully transformational and impactful in complex environments than earlier stages, and by implication the same holds true for executive coaches, that development through the stages supports the coach’s ability to coach at a more senior level and in more complex situations. If this aspect of supervision interests you, we can discuss the different ways we can integrate this perspective into our work together.

What is supervision?

In 1-1 supervision, you (the supervisee) choose what you bring to explore and why, and a key aspect of my role as supervisor is to provide an engaging and safe environment in which you can do this for the benefit of your clients and yourself. Important aspects include:

  • Helping you manage situations and dynamics which are unfamiliar or particularly challenging
  • Helping you identify and better manage your own relational and professional strengths and blind spots
  • Helping you navigate where you are on your own developmental journey
  • Developing your coaching approach, skills, outcomes and impact in the world
  • Helping you manage tricky boundary considerations and ethical concerns
  • Developing your understanding of the systemic aspects operating between them and the client, the client system and the world beyond.

How I do supervision – frequency, length?

I currently offer 1-1 supervision for 1, 1.5 or 2hr sessions. Whilst some elements of contracting will be discussed before we formally start work, they will be confirmed and explored in more depth during our first session. This will include the following aspects.

  • Frequency: typically every 6-8 weeks, depending on coach’s client load and experience.
  • Cost: £50-100+ VAT per hour for privately funded supervisees; costs for organisational supervisees are agreed on an individual basis.
  • Confidentiality: professional confidentiality is an important part of supervision, subject to my own supervision and the unlikely event of required disclosure for legal reasons.
  • I supervise executive coaches, sport psychologists and allied practitioner psychologists and health practitioners, subject to an initial contracting conversation.
  • I supervise coaches offering 1-1, team coaching, group facilitation, and broader L&D consultation.
  • I’m a member of the Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS) and am an APECS Accredited Executive Coach. I operate under the APECS ethical guidelines which can be found at
  • With cancellations, there is no charge with seven days’ notice or longer.  Less than seven days but up to two days I charge 50% and if two days’ notice or less is given the full fee is charged.  I will invoice you as agreed, and this is likely to be for three sessions at a time unless we agree differently.  BACS details are provided for payment.
  • I value feedback conversations after and during each session. How are we using our time together, to best serve you and your clients? What do you need more of, less of, done differently?
  • The conversation before we formally start working together will be an important part of establishing a relationship of trust between us, and exploring our respective expectations, desired outcomes and ways of working. I aim to keep building our working alliance each time we have contact, with an emphasis on the early stages of our work together. I’m mindful that supervision represents an important investment financially for the supervisee, but perhaps even more an investment of effort and vulnerability in exploring themselves and their professional development.
  • References: It is commons for supervisors to be asked to write references when supervisees are applying for work in organisations or for accreditation. My normal practice would be to work with someone for around a year or have done at least six supervision sessions before providing anything beyond a confirmation that I am their supervisor, how many sessions we have had and of what duration. However, contributing factors will include how frequently we have been meeting or speaking. I may also ask to listen to, and work with you on, a recording of one of your coaching sessions before writing a reference. The time taken to do this will be charged at our normal hourly rate.


References and useful source materials

Berne, E. (1964). Games people play. Harmondsworth, UK. Penguin Books

Cook-Greuter. S.R. (2004). Making the case for a developmental perspective. Industrial and Commercial Training. Volume 36, Number 7, 275-281.

Gallwey, W. T. (1975). The Inner game of tennis. London: Jonathan Cape.

Harris, R. (2008). The Happiness Trap: How to stop struggling and start living. Boston, MA: Trumpeter.

Hawkins, P. and Shohet, R. (2012) Supervision in the Helping Professions. 4th edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hawkins, P. and Smith, N. (2013) Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consultancy: Supervision and Development. 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Karpman, S. (1968). Fairy Tales and Script Drama Analysis. Transactional Analysis Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 26, pp. 39-43

Keleman, S. (1975). The Human Ground. Center Press. Berkeley, CA

Murdoch, M & Arnold, J. Eds. (2013). Full Spectrum Supervision: Who You Are Is How You Supervise

O’Neill, M. B. (2007). Executive coaching with backbone and heart. San Francisco, CA. Jossey-Bass.

Torbert, W.R. & Associates. (2004). Action Inquiry. San Francisco, CA. Berrett-Koehler.

Whitmore, J. Coaching for Performance. New Edition, Nicholas Brealey, 2001.