The Effective Mentor Coach. Mentor Focus. Part 2 of 4
We are mentoring on the mentee’s coaching skills, coaching abilities, coaching competencies, coaching masteries, coaching proficiencies, and coaching capabilities. Whatever descriptive you want to use, our focus remains the same—on the mentee’s coaching.
It is a little tricky because a lot of people know how to listen, or how to ask a powerful question, or how to initiate action. These are not unusual ideas or concepts; they are common notions that the general public knows. But, when we go into them and study them from the coaches’ point of view, they become a skill, a tool and a coach approach. Like every other skill and tool, these can be developed, sharpened, and practiced to obtain a high level of excellence.
Each mentee comes to a mentor to improve these coaching skills. And these skills should be the focus of each mentoring session. Therefore, a mentor needs to help his or her mentee improve these skills by giving specific examples of what comes naturally to the mentee and which skills are missing from their coaching sessions. I’m not talking about saying vague things like:
“You are a great listener…” or “You have excellent questions; they are powerful and you are good at it” or “You have a good rapport with your client and create trust in the session.”
To me, those kinds of comments are superficial, uninformative, and don’t provide real tools or takeaways for the mentee. Instead, the mentor needs to be more specific in helping the mentee understand exactly what he or she is doing right. This will allow the mentee to know exactly what it took for him or her to demonstrate a particular competency or mastery. What skills is he or she using to “be a great listener” or to “have powerful questions” or to “have a good rapport.” For example:
“You hear, repeat, and paraphrase the words the client is using and then ask your client to express what it means to them,” or “You ask questions that are short, open-ended and curious,” or “You invited the client to lead the session when you asked him how he or she wanted to pursue the topic, thus demonstrating a level of trust in the client and in the coaching process.”
- Be very specific in your feedback
- Give real examples from their coaching sessions
- Highlight the actual skill that it took to demonstrate each competency or mastery
- Focus on coaching skills rather than the style of the coaching
Create a list for yourself of examples for each competency/mastery of the skills that it takes to demonstrate each one. This is the list that you take with you in the mentoring session in order to use them with your mentee.
Next, we’ll explore the language for our mentoring session.
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
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