The Effective Mentor Coach. The “Who” In Mentoring. Part 4 of 4
Although the focus of each mentoring session is on the coaching skills, in my experience as a mentor I have found it necessary to go past the coaching skills and touch the “who”, the “being” of that coach.
The superficial mentor helps you with the basics, but they don’t give you much feedback. In general, they are very supportive and encouraging, but nothing really happens in the mentoring session. You come out of a mentoring session and your ego might be a bit bigger from all the encouragement and support. But, you don’t have any solid understanding of what you actually did well and what skill you could improve.
When you go to a higher level of mentoring, you are mentoring not only the coach but also the person because that’s usually where the problem is. In my mentoring experience, the mentee’s beliefs, ideas, and feelings always stopped him or her. In a sense, it was the “who” that was blocking them from taking their coaching skills to a higher level. I feel that in mentoring we need to “touch” the “who” in order to improve the mentee’s coaching skills.
That doesn’t mean that we are turning a mentoring session into a coaching session. Instead, we are adding elements of a coaching session into the mentoring session; we are utilizing our own coaching skills by looking for moments and opportunities within each session to help our mentee improve his or her coaching.
By taking five minutes to ask a few powerful questions—that goes to the “who”—will evoke discovery in the mentee. In essence, we are using those few minutes to coach our mentee by creating awareness and centering the focus within the mentoring session.
Often, mentor coaches tend to dismiss and forget that they are dealing with a real person that has feelings, beliefs, and ideas about him/herself.
When a mentor coach only explores and stays within the mentees coaching skills, he or she only helps in a superficial and temporary way. When a mentor coach “touches” and explores the “who,” he or she is able to strengthen that mentee on a deeper level. In doing this, we create a space for growth and expansion for that coach as a person. Because, at the end of the day, he or she is a person—a human being.
Think about the mentees that you have right now. Think about them as a “person” (beliefs, ideas, values, assumptions, etc.) and come up with questions that you could ask them about the “who” that could potentially help them demonstrate a particular competency or mastery.
In closing, I want to say that these are some of the concepts that I feel make a Mentor Coach more effective—to be neutral and adapt to the mentee, not just by exploring the skills that it takes to be a coach, but also the “being” that it takes to be a coach.
That’s when a Mentor is really helping a Coach to be the best Coach s/he can be.
About the Author:
Eduardo Vier, MCC, is the instructor for Impact Coaching Academy`s ‘Masterful Mentor Coach’ training course, which prepares ICF certified coaches to effectively and competently mentor coaches who aspire to ICF certification at all levels (ACC, PCC, and MCC). For details of this course go to Impact Coach Academy, Mentor Coaching
The Expert Series is brought to you by choice Magazine as part of our ongoing efforts to bring opportunities for learning and growth to the coaching community. Delivered in four parts every two weeks, each series covers useful topics for business development and coaching insights, serving the needs of leaders in all areas and walks of life. Archived copies of the previous series can be found here.