About Alex van Oostveen

personal transformation through conversation

To wear my heart on my sleeve, I am uncomfortable to refer to myself as a coach. The coaching market is not adequately regulated, coaches are generally under-trained and over-abundant, there are no policy-related barriers to entry, market pressures are not counter-balanced, the definition of coaching is unhelpfully fluid. I could go on, but my point is made. I also prefer not to use the increasingly popular metaphysical and provocative role-names for my work;  I believe they tarnish trust in the practice and industry.

Despite this critique, I am positive about the impact of the coaching modality, and refer to myself as a coach merely because it provides people with a common point of reference to understanding my domain. There are indeed plenty of professional, trained and effective coaches to choose from. I strive to support and remain in this community of practitioners.

My coaching and supervision practice follow on from a 20-year career in military operational flying and advanced flight instruction. From these experiences I learned the value of potent leadership, effective decision-making, communication and relationships within complex, high-stakes, and dynamic environments.

In my personal life, my passions are personal development, cooking, riding motorcycles, spirituality, wine and whisky, yoga, and music. I live in the countryside in a village in the Cape Winelands.

I hold a PCC credential with the ICF, a Diploma in Coaching and a Diploma in Coach Supervision. I have training and experience primarily in transactional analysis and Appreciative Inquiry, and a diversity of organisational development modalities.

As a practitioner, I put my passion into action by helping individuals and businesses successfully navigate their own systems, organisations and environments, through accurate sense-making, self-management and a whole-person-approach to problem solving.

I have been mentoring coaches-in-training within ICF-accredited coaching programmes since 2012. I host one-to-one and group mentor coaching.

My deep passion for coach supervision comes from my personal experience of its transformational impact, as well as my aviation background in standards, training and performance review. While these latter aspects are not explicitly what supervision is about, they are visited at appropriate times in reflective practice. I supervise coaches one-to-one ad-hoc or monthly. For coaches wanting to learn in community with others, I host supervision groups.

In the coaching domain, I serve  in the following voluntary roles,

  • voluntary coach supervisor to coaches in a global initiative in response to the refugee crisis called CoachActivism. I work with coaches around the world in groups and individually to provide supervision and support
  • coaching community leaders in my home village of McGregor, Western Cape.

My past roles in voluntary capacities,

  • vice chairperson of the South African Transactional Analysis Association (SATAA)
  • SATAA Board Secretary
  • COMENSA Supervision Portfolio Committee vice chairperson
  • COMENSA Membership Criteria and Standards of Competence Committee vice chairperson
  • COMENSA Western Cape Vice Chair
  • COMENSA Western Cape Secretary
  • board member in the International Transactional Analysis Association (ITAA), also serving as Regional Representative for Africa and the Middle East,
  • co-chair of the ITAA Ethics Committee

Coach Supervision

I enjoy helping coaches grow their online and face to face businesses. In addition to supervision, I share a number of business tools and best practices to help coaches enhance their approach to their practice and engagement with clients.

I have extensive and diverse experience coaching individuals and groups in CEO, director, executive, general manager and non-executive levels in governmental, private and non-profit sectors. I also work as a coach supervisor with a diverse array of coaches globally in corporate and private contexts.

As coach supervisor I draw on a number of approaches to help my clients articulate and understand their experiences of themselves in relation to their clients, and their practice, with greater insight and meaning. Using the combined power of relationship and process, I help practitioners transcend their personal challenges, equipped with clearer thinking and renewed options for action.

My working philosophy and style is informed by the psychological theory of transactional analysis (TA) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI). I work in the here-and-now, using a contractual method, original thinking, and authenticity.

Coaches in supervision with me resolve issues in their coaching relationships, deepen their quality of practice, and experience valuable professional and personal learning. My work-

  • enhances coaching and professional development through self-review and action
  • provides a confidential, supportive and developmental space
  • resolves unhelpful patterns in client relationships
  • advances professional ethics and practice
  • supports obligations to meet professional coaching body requirements

Coaching

As a coach, I love supporting my clients in taking the lead in their own journeys to effective relationships and communication skills, with clear thinking and accountable action.

My clients learn improved ways of problem-solving, understand themselves and those around them with deeper insight and become unstuck from getting in the way of themselves.

My working philosophy and style is informed by the psychological theory of transactional analysis (TA) and Appreciative Inquiry (AI). This powerful combination inspires spontaneity and authentic experience of self and life.

I live with a positive-psychology approach, assuming the inherent potential and value of the people I work with.

My clients are people looking to take their personal and professional lives quantum leaps further, by transformed thinking, lived experience and action.

Using secure online technology, I globally provide

  • personal coaching
  • coaching packages for corporates
  • coach supervision for individuals and groups
  • coach supervision for organisations

Features of my military career,

  • Leader and Nr 3 pilot of the South African Air Force’s formation aerobatic team The Silver Falcons
  • Advanced flight instructor: testing and training qualified fighter, helicopter and transport pilots in how to give flying instruction
  • Operational helicopter pilot and flight instructor: flying operational sorties in and outside of South Africa’s borders, testing and training squadron aircrew in regular and operational flying

Some challenges I have undertaken in my own life,

  • Overcoming a lack of confidence as an aviator. I had held myself back from being the skilled pilot I became, until I had overcome my internal limitations. These I had taken on as a result of schoolhood bullying and not fitting the stereotypical mlitary pilot personality. It took me a longer time to be clear on what I was and was not comfortable being.
  • In my adult life I have dedicated my free time to spiritual exploration and personal development. From meditation, reading spiritual material, engaging with spiritual teachers, to therapy for personal development, I immerse myself in a variety of experiences in a journey of becoming more whole, connected to self and the universe. I have grown in my cognitive, non-rational, spiritual and professional abilities.
  • I was thrilled and terrified by the idea of riding a motorcycle, so I set out on a cross country trip on a Yamaha TDM 850 twin-cylinder motorcycle. The bike broke down on the first day in the middle of nowhere! But, gaining confidence over time, I have managed to compete in the advanced/fast group category of riders on the racetrack on a BMW S1000RR superbike. I am now exploring adventure bike riding on a Triumph Tiger 900 RP with my wife.
  • Leaving the military to start my own business. I jumped in the deep end, learning the ropes on the job. I now have an established coaching and supervision business.

Client Experiences

Jens
Jens Kleis Frederiksen
JKF Coaching
Executive Coach

Alex has been supervising me for quite a long time, during which he has become an integral and highly valued contributor to my continuous learning and development. Despite the considerable distance between South Africa and Switzerland, I chose Alex as my supervisor because of his remarkably solid academic foundation, strong coaching experience and his straight forward, friendly and results-oriented approach. Coaching supervision is so much more than a tick-box compliance exercise and I cherish my sessions with Alex as opportunities to reflect, challenge my assumptions and design actionable outcomes. I recommend Alex to any professional coach looking for a top-tier, committed and highly competent supervisor.

Karolyne
Karolyne Williams
South African College of Applied Psychology
Head of Strategic Innovation at SACAP (The South African College of Applied Psychology) & CEO Coach

Alex is an insightful and supportive supervisor. I’ve very much enjoyed working with him as he gently asks thought provoking questions to help me reflect on my coaching practice. Alex adds value to enhance coaching mastery!

Angelina
Angelina Yonekura
Success | Development | Leadership Coach ⚬ First-Gen Graduate ⚬ Addictions Counselor ⚬ US & South Africa

Alex is beyond amazing when it comes to really connecting to the core motivation and challenges I have experienced as a coach. I respect his professionalism and keeping me aligned with ICF core competencies. He goes deep, but carries the conversation with empathy and genuine motivation in helping me find my strengths and desire to continually grow and find what style and methods work for me. Alex has been one of the most significant influences in my coaching journey with SACAP and I appreciate the work he has done to help me maximize my abilities, and compassion to understand the human side of the trials and successes in personal and professional development.

 

Althea
Althea Banda-Hansmann
Founding Director, Transformation Coach, Consultant and Facilitator

I left each group supervision session with Alex being expanded by his role modelling coaching supervision. My horizons were broadened by the individual learning and edge work of participant coaches, by the collective group learning and the sense of community that developed. A warm smile crosses my face, as I recall the clarity of intention and skill with which Alex fostered the coaching supervision environment by using creative structure. He is skilled at applying both supervision and Transactional Analysis theory to help coaches grow in their practice, in themselves as well as areas of vulnerability. I experienced Alex as grounded in his coaching supervision approach and resourceful in sharing knowledge, tools, observations and reading material for growth.

 

Kathy
Kathy Lewis
Leadership / Management Coach, Facilitator & Consultant

I grew in a number of ways through working with Alex as my coaching supervisor. His gently challenging attention kept me focused when I digressed. He is a master of asking questions that nudge (and sometime necessarily push) one forward and I learned a lot from listening to him question fellow coaches in the supervision group as well as from the results I derived from his questioning me. His approach of supervising in groups increased the scope and depth of learning. His broad theoretical knowledge expanded my coaching repertoire and his careful attention to detail and the bigger picture contributed significantly to my unfolding professional development.

Gaby
Gaby Leone
Goal and Purpose Coach: Free To Fly Life Coaching

I found my supervision interaction with Alex very useful. Through incisive questions and focussed listening, he helped me gain valuable insights into myself as coach.

Leilah
Leilah Najjaar
Western Cape Government Health
Acting Director at Western Cape Government Health

Thank you for the manner in which you have facilitated our sessions. It was both professional and productive. Although my initial expectations of the coaching were somewhat obscured you remained committed and respectful. I have learnt many lessons about myself and feel I have gained the ability to navigate my way through challenging situations or circumstances. The models you shared will be of great value to me for many years to come. I would highly recommend your coaching service to anyone willing to make positive and rewarding life changes.

Anand
Anand Manickaraj
Coach/Consultant

Alex came highly recommended as an empathetic coach, which he was! I contracted a few sessions to sort through some growing concerns that needed to be addressed. His ability to actively listen, understand the underpinning issues of both my personal and professional life were exemplary. He heard what was unspoken and brought it to my awareness through powerful questions and direct communication. This opened up the space for me to explore options to resolve my concerns. I benefited from his gentle nudges that helped me commit to new approaches to overcome old and tried methods that were ineffective. He clearly demonstrated a professional code of ethics and conduct. I find him generous in sharing his knowledge to create a lasting change.

Karen
Karen Pratt
TA Matters
Transactional Analyst, Personal Coach, Coach Supervisor, Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator at TAmatters

Alex has great skill in listening deeply and hearing underlying beliefs. His passion for the appreciative approach gently invites his clients to connect with their best selves. His insightful questions make him a powerful coach. He is deeply self-reflective which positively impacts all of his work.

Marguerite
Marguerite Sacco
Independent Corporate Trainer/Facilitator

Alex is a meticulous, insightful coach. He challenges thinking while being supportive and highly considerate of the process. He is trustworthy and provides a safe place in which one can explore one’s potential.

Nkulu
Nkulu Madonko
Common Good
CEO

Alex has been a consummate professional in his Supervision of my Coach learning journey whilst completing my SACAP Post Grad Diploma in Coaching Internship. Alex provided me with relevant and informative reflection, and oversight of my coaching as practice. He attentively focused on: 1) my growth & development as a coach – enhancing my competence as a practitioner; 2) carefully supported and nurtured my role of coach as a person – deepening my confidence and self-belief of who I am as a coach; and 3) skilfully displayed what it means to be a professional coach – providing me a lived experience of integrity and collaboration in the way in which he supported our reflective dialogue. It has been an absolute privilege partnering and collaborating with Alex!

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Stephen Beukes
Stephen Beukes (Pty) Ltd
Professional Life Coach

I place great value on the contribution that the supervision work I do with Alex has made (and continues to make) to my coaching practice. His gently rigorous way of being has helped me negotiate tricky coaching challenges, develop practices that take care of myself and supported me to clarify the sort of coach I wish to be. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

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David Kossew
Software Architect and Leadership & Team Coach (ICF - ACC, ORSC)

Alex has been my supervisor since my business coaching internship in 2018. I have taken many varied and different things into supervision with Alex, from referrals, to incorporating assessments into my coaching practice, to conflicts of interest, and even team coaching with a co-coach.

I find Alex to be extremely knowledgeable, especially when it comes to Transactional Analysis (TA), the “7-eyed model of supervision” and other theory he draws from in the moment. Everything I’ve brought into supervision, we have looked at through the lens of one of these frameworks, and every time I’ve come away with more insight and awareness of what I am responsible for in these coaching relationship systems.

A supervision session feels challenging, insightful and highly rewarding, as long as you work for it and are willing to be honest with yourself in terms of thoughts, feelings, judgments and decisions.