The Difference Between Coaching Training and Mentor Skills
There is a large overlap between coaching skills and mentor skills, and after taking most coaching training courses you should have at least some basic mentor skills. One of the key differences between skills needed to coach and skills needed to mentor is experience, which gives the mentor credibility. Experience is the one thing you need to become a mentor that you can’t get from coaching training. Beyond a sincere interest in helping someone grow, commitment, and confidence in your abilities, being a mentor with a coaching training background can provide some specific value. These mentor skills include:
Skill #1: Goal Setting
Goals should ideally be set using S.M.A.R.T., which stands for goal planning that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Ambitious, has a Reason for achieving the goal, and a Time to achieve the goal by. These mentor skills can be transferred over from your coaching training.
Skill #2: Action Plan/ Strategy
Remember, you’ve been there so you know what the possible options are, as well as the pros and cons.
Skill #3: Accountability
Another one of the mentor skills you can borrow from your coaching training. Just knowing that someone will be asking about action steps can be very motivating, especially with a mentor who is held in high regard.
Skill #4: Re-assessment of goals and strategy
Make sure your protégé stays on track.
Skill #5: Celebrating wins and providing encouragement when obstacles arise
The best part about being a mentor is helping to celebrate the wins, and making sure that wins are actually celebrated. Some people have trouble celebrating the smaller wins toward their bigger goals, and failing to do so can really affect motivation when obstacles come up. If someone has been working hard toward a goal and there doesn’t seem to be progress, obstacles seem that much bigger. These are mentor skills that can be improved through coaching training.
Using Mentor Skills to Give Back
There are several mentor skills that you can refine through coaching training programs. Unlike your coaching practice, however, mentoring is more about giving back than making a living. I tend to think of mentoring others as a way of ‘paying forward’ to all the people who have mentored me through various times in my life.
JTS Advisors Designated Accountability Coach