Coaching and mentoring basics or fundamentals can be instrumental in every coaching business. Although there are some similarities in the roles that mentoring and coaching play; helping to initiate transformational changes in people’s lives, their methods and the structures of the relationship are different.
What is Coaching?
The most widely accepted definition of coaching is from the International Coach Federation. In coaching, the learner has primary ownership of the goal, but the coach has sole proprietorship of the process. There are several coaching specialties in the industry today; life coaching, relationship coaching, health coaching, success coaching, grief, and loss coaching, etc. Coaching focuses on solutions and actions by which clients seek to achieve results, rather than looking for reasons behind the failures. In coaching, the learner has primary ownership of the goal, but the coach has sole proprietorship of the process.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a process through which individuals offer professional expertise and support to others who are less experienced than they are. A mentor is typically referred to as “an experienced and trusted advisor” and can serve as a teacher, counselor, and advocate to those looking up to them for guidance. Mentors are known to be subject matter experts (SME) within their field of learning. Unlike coaching, mentoring allows the learner to own both the goals and the process, and model their behaviors on given examples and experience of his or her mentor. Mentors are professionals that can help individuals navigate both professional and personal obstacles, working with all aspects of a client’s life.
How to know if Your Clients Need Coaching or Mentoring?
The best way to find what service your clients need is by asking relevant and compelling questions. Based on their responses you will be able to determine if your coaching services are what they require or mentoring services. Understanding the differences between the coaching and mentoring relationship will help you implement their processes successfully into your coaching practice.
Coaching and Mentoring Basics For All Coaches
For coaches to be successful in their coaching relationship with clients, the following coaching and mentoring basics (essentials) should be implemented.
1. Practice Integrity and Build Trust; it’s essential you establish an atmosphere of open communication and mutual respect.
2. Avoid Judgmental and Advice-Oriented Questions; preferably, ask fundamental and relevant questions that empower and results in solutions.
3. Be always present (attentiveness): Let your clients you are hearing what they are saying; active listening skills is essential.
4. Curiosity; Be curious about what may be causing the problem; do not automatically jump into problem-solving mode. Propose relevant open-ended questions that will persuade the client to open up.
5. Create Strategies and Action Plans for Goals; discuss with clients what you want to accomplish and be clear about your expectations. A clear timeline is needed for goals and desires to be uncovered and fulfilled.
6. Providing Feedback; embracing continuous feedback from your clients increases the effectiveness of the coaching process; help both coach and client to be on the same page (no misunderstanding) of action steps and desired goals.
1. Fostering a relationship is vital in mentoring. Be aware that the mentoring relationship is personal and confidential; therefore trust will mostly take time to develop.
2. Clarity; Propose relevant open-ended questions that will persuade the client to open up.
3. Compassion; in the mentoring relationship, genuine concern and empathy by the mentor should be always visible to the mentee (client).
4. Active listening skills are very crucial to the mentoring process; your client or mentee must be sure you comprehend what they are expressing in order to help them.
5. Support; your clients must be confident knowing that you are there to guide and support them in their personal and professional endeavors.
Practicing the coaching and mentoring basics in your coaching business will positively impact your relationship with your clients. Naturally, you neither have to be a mentor or utilize mentoring methods to be successful in your coaching practice. Nevertheless, if you do decide to see clients for mentoring, you want to ensure they are aware of what service they see you for. Also, you want to be sure you are employing the mentoring process effectively to help your clients overcome obstacles and achieve their desired goals.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community