Expert Series: The Effective Mentor Coach Part 1 of 4

 

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COACH.TALK.NOW
– choice Magazine
The Effective Mentor

Part 1 of 4: What is a Mentor Coach?

‘Being’ a Mentor means you have chosen responsibilities—that of leadership, of role model, of expertise, of guidance, and of partnership.

In this four part series, we’ll explore three of the aspects that it takes to be an effective Mentor Coach: the language that an effective Mentor uses, the focus for each session and the “who” in the mentoring sessions.

This series endeavors to give you a few tools that would support you in deepening your mentoring sessions with your mentees.

Ideally we want to help the mentee evolve to a higher level of coaching so that he or she can have a better and deeper understanding of the competencies and masteries involved in coaching and ultimately, a clearer understanding of how to use them.

For that purpose, we must remain “neutral” in regards to the mentee’s coaching. We need to adapt to them and “be” with him or her. Of course, each mentee needs something different. This is why as Mentors, we need to show up in a myriad of ways.

As Mentors, we cannot let our own ideas, styles, and beliefs regarding what an “ideal” coaching session looks like, take over and direct our mentoring sessions.

Instead, we must cater each session to each mentee.

  • To focus on what each mentee needs to improve his or her coaching skills.
  • To concentrate on what each mentee needs in order to “be” the best coach for their clients.

In other words, we need to give attention to the mentees coaching skills and not get caught up in our own coaching styles.

Thankfully, we have the competencies and masteries which will help us provide what each mentee needs from us.

In addition, I believe, we need to touch the “who” of the mentee. This is something that most mentors don’t talk about or are afraid to touch. In my experience, to be an Effective Mentor Coach you need to access the “who” and use some time in the mentoring sessions to inquire and/or explore.

The most profound changes happens when we help to change the person that is coaching.

To begin this process I want you to write down the thoughts that you have about coaching and about a coach. About the competencies/masteries. About how they should look like in a coaching session. About how a coach should be in a coaching session. All the ideas and beliefs that you have about coaching. Take them out of your head and put them into a piece of paper. And in your next mentoring session take that piece of paper and leave outside of the session. On another table or outside the room.

In our second part we’ll start by exploring the focus of each mentoring sessions.

Check out previous parts or series >> Expert Series Archive <<

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: http://www.ImpactCoachingAcademy.com/MentorCoach

 

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COACH.TALK.NOW
– choice Magazine
The Effective Mentor

Part 2 of 4: Mentor Focus

 

 

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 for 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.”

In short:

  • 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 the 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.

Check out previous parts or series >> Expert Series Archive <<

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 Acedemy, Mentor Coaching

 

 

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COACH.TALK.NOW
– choice Magazine
The Effective Mentor

Part 3 of 4: Competencies and Masteries
Based Language

 

Personally, the ICF Competencies and the IAC Masteries are the “bible” for my mentoring sessions. I grab them and hold on to them to save me from pretty much any situation. They have become my “come from” and “go to” place, which I can always revert back to.

As a Mentor, these sources give me precise language to navigate each mentoring session with ease and flow. They are the tools that allow me to better speak, interact, and engage with my mentees. When communicating with my mentees, they help me maintain consistency, focus, and clarity. Ultimately, they provide me with a clear path, allowing me to broaden my understanding of necessary skills so I can center each mentoring session on what is important and what I was hired to do.

I especially refer to these sources when I encounter situations that are out of the ordinary or when I encounter situations that provoke a strong reaction in me.

For example, if my mentee has a “style” of coaching that I don’t like or disagree with, then my mentoring gets obscured by the thoughts and ideas that I have regarding that style of coaching.  This distracts me from the original job that I was hired to do. By using the language of the Competencies and/or Masteries, I’m able to bypass my reactions, thoughts, and beliefs that may affect my assessment of the mentee.

Or when my mentee sends me a coaching session that is not really coaching and I use the Competencies and/or Masteries language to tell them, with clear examples of the skills that a coach uses, what coaching is and is not.

As a mentor you need:

  • To get very familiar with the words of the Competencies and Masteries
  • To understand them and make them your own
  • To use them when commenting about coaching

I’m grateful to the many coaches that set the foundation for our coaching profession and to those coaches who helped write and develop the Competencies and Masteries. When I mentor and use that language, I feel I help to expand what they started. This helps deepen the understanding of what it means to be a coach for myself and for my mentees.

In your next mentoring session have a copy of the Competencies and/or Masteries next to you to get more familiar with them. Use them as a reference guide and quote them in your mentoring session. Use the actual words whenever possible.

In the last part of this series we’ll explore the “who” in mentoring in order to deepen our mentoring sessions.

Check out previous parts or series >> Expert Series Archive <<

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 Acedemy, Mentor Coaching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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COACH.TALK.NOW
– choice Magazine
The Effective Mentor

Part 4 of 4: The “Who” In Mentoring

 

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.

Check out previous parts or series >> Expert Series Archive <<

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 Acedemy, Mentor Coaching