Power dynamics in coaching, counselling, supervision, management, and teaching…

The relationship between counsellors and their clients, supervisors and their supervisees, tutors and their students, and managers and their ‘team’, are all determined by the projections of one onto the other and how the other responds.

What’s important (in my opinion) is for both parties to be aware of what they are doing and to be clear about the correlation (or lack of it) between the nature of the relationship and the individual ‘learning’ that is achieved through it.

We often describe the relationship in terms of power, so one person often assumes power over the other, while the other gives them it. The healthier alternative is for the power to be shared.

In person-centred terms, in the supervisor/supervisee relationship both members are ‘congruent’, whereas in the counsellor/client relationship the client is expected to be incongruent. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the open sharing of power should be any different.

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