By Brianna Rafferty • August 22, 2017

Using Peer Supervision for Coach Management

When you are an HR professional managing executive coaches and coaching engagements, your role involves many layers of complexity.  Serving as a resource for coaching talent while still protecting the company’s bottom line is a challenging situation to navigate.

A more effective way to navigate the complexities of managing executive coaching and talent development programs is through peer supervision. This approach furnishes expanded learning, feedback, and collaborative outlets not otherwise experienced in a one-on-one supervisory setting. Coaching, mentoring and development occur organically without any one person being saddled with an unreasonable expectation - to be the expert on every situation.

If peer supervision is an approach you would like to implement for your team of internal executive coaches, here are three tips for establishing a successful peer supervision group.

Determine the group’s focus 

Avoid frustration and confusion in initial meetings by establishing the focus of your group before you start.  Send out a communication to all participating coaches prior to the meeting to clarify and outline the agenda,  speakers, and case examples. 

Establish a comfortable and confidential setting

 The location and time of a peer supervision meeting makes more of a difference than you think. The rhythm of your organization’s day may dictate time and place. But you want to make it as easy as possible for members to attend and fully participate. A few options to consider are:

  • Connecting in a virtual, secure setting via a video cloud platform
  • Conducting technology tests with participating coaches prior to the call to minize technical frustrations and video and sound quality
  • Sending out and signing agreed norms of behavior including confidentiality regulations
Facilitate the group in an organized, yet collegial fashion

A set agenda and structure keeps the peer supervision group on point and steers the meeting in the right direction.  The following represent some key items to include on a standing agenda:

  • Rotate the peer supervision facilitator among the group so that each member experiences meaningful learning. The facilitator takes notes and keeps discussions targeted and purposeful.
  • Maintain a peer supervision style. Two possible methods are:
    • Single scenario-presentation - One person shares a difficult coaching situation, and colleagues provide feedback. There is no need to share points in advance.
    • Multiple scenario-presentation - One or more coaching situations are shared with the group in advance. Members come prepared with feedback. Time limits are incorporated.


While the concept of peer supervision is not new, the AIIR use case creates a reinvigorated process. When used to its maximum effect, peer supervison both challenges and prepares your internal coaches for the complexities in coaching business executives. The following two benefits come through peer supervision sessions:

  • Enhanced leadership skills and thought processes for both the coaches and their clients
  • A second-round of quality assurance on complex client cases 

The cadre becomes a small, sustainable community thriving on cross-sharing and collegial collaboration. Through its genuine, unguarded interactions come original and contemporary solutions to assist members in coaching their industry leaders.

 AIIR Consulting refers to our unique blend of synergistic peer management as Discovery Peer Supervision. We have learned that new ideas and approaches emerge within groups through the method of a discovery process. The contribution of many heightens the learning of all.

AIIR Consulting can help plan and facilitate your own Discovery Peer Supervision structure. For more information contact us at: [email protected]