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Who Coaches Your Coach?

Award-winning author Catherine Finger contributes to the well-being of others by offering executive, personal, and author coaching services. Throughout her career as a public-school leader, mentoring current and emerging leaders was one of her greatest joys.

Executive Contributor Catherine Finger

As high-quality executive coaching grows in popularity as a leadership development tool for aspiring, emerging and excelling leaders—the pathways for preparing, certifying and monitoring the growth and development of coach practitioners merits further study. Certified professional coaches embrace ongoing learning and engage in routine professional development through a variety of coaching organizations, colleges, and universities, as well as through courses offered by a host of recognized coach-specific training programs. In addition to coursework and workshops, coaches often participate in a wide variety of leadership and service roles offered through recognized coaching accrediting bodies, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF,) the Association for Coaching (AC,) and the European Mentor Coaching Council (EMCC.)

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Practicing coaches are also encouraged to work independently with a professional, certified coach practitioner utilizing one of two primary coaching models designed to support coaches: Mentor Coaching and Coaching Supervision. Examining one’s coaching practice helps coaches illuminate the subtle choices made during client conversations. Through reflection, it becomes possible to recognize and celebrate coaching strengths, uncover blind spots and growth areas, and explore the potential for unconscious bias. (Clutterbuck et al., 2016.)


Mentor coaching 

Provides aspiring and emerging coaches with research-based guidance, practice, and feedback on their own coaching habits and practice as they further develop their coaching skills and competencies. The mentor coaching process is one of the developmental experiences required by most internationally recognized coaching accrediting bodies, including the ICF, the AC, and the EMCC. This collaborative process of inquiry and reflection typically occurs over three to six months and may occur one-on-one or in group coaching settings.


Mentor coaching offers a safe space from which to examine coaching mindsets, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Coaches partner with an experienced colleague to examine their coaching choices and behaviors while reviewing tapes of real-time coaching sessions and exploring options and opportunities in a climate of trust, mutual respect, and curiosity. The goal of the mentor coaching process is to support the coach in their skill-building journey and to prepare them for success in the credentialing process.


Coaching supervision 

Is a research-based, collaborative process designed to offer experienced coaches consistent opportunities to engage in the practice of reflecting upon their current professional practice relative to coaching best practices, ethics and standards. The goal of coaching supervision is to support the coach as they improve the quality of their work, transform their client relationships, continuously develop themselves, their practice and the wider profession. (Hawkins & Shohet, 2012.)


Coaching supervision helps coaches increase the depth and breadth of coaching resources, models, and tools in a welcoming climate designed to align with the coach’s learning style with a bias toward applying the learning to current client experiences when possible. Coaching supervision also offers coaches support and encouragement for their own personal and professional growth and development—placing special emphasis on engaging in appropriate restorative practices. While a number of coaching supervision models exist, more research is needed to widen the collective understanding of the power of coaching supervision. Current models emphasize the importance of the coach as a person, offering space and experiences designed to explore and deepen their emotional well-being. Best practice in coaching supervision also includes a strong focus on the professional standards and ethical behavior of the coach as well as on their skills, knowledge and overall coaching ability.


Want to learn more about Mentor Coaching or Coaching Supervision? Schedule a complimentary conference call with Catherine to explore options and opportunities here.

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Catherine Finger, Executive Coaching & Consulting

Award-winning author Catherine Finger contributes to the well-being of others by offering executive, personal, and author coaching services. Throughout her career as a public-school leader, mentoring current and emerging leaders was one of her greatest joys. This experience, coupled with her passion to instill hope for leadership, love, and life led her to launch Loving the Leading, an executive coaching and consulting business in 2020. Her years of successful experience as an educational leader, board member, adjunct professor, award-winning author, law enforcement chaplain and community leader equip her with unique insights and deep intuition on both organizations and individuals. During her educational career



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