Ten Benefits of Working With a Coach Mentor

Author : Ken Kelling

23rd January 2020

Working with a mentor can be invaluable to your development as a coach. Mentoring sessions provide a reflective space to get feedback on your coaching, ask questions and identify areas of improvement, and can be a  useful resource for any coach-in-training. In this article, Animas mentor Ken Kelling highlights ten benefits of working with a mentor while you’re training as a coach, and several Animas graduates share the impact that mentoring had on their coaching journey.

1. You are not alone!

Realising that you are not the only person to struggle with getting clients, keeping models in your mind or wondering what happened to “the disappearing client” can be hugely beneficial. Mentors often talk to students about concerns, fears or beliefs that they don’t feel able to share in front of their peers. They can reassure you that many students have gone through the same experiences.

2. Mentors have had hundreds of conversations with students to draw on

The depth and breadth of people attending the course means that mentors have had many conversations about the issues you may be facing. It’s a resource based on real life experiences that’s there for you to tap into and make the most of.

3. Encouragement

Mentors believe in you. They want you to be as successful as possible in your coaching. They also understand what it’s like to be a coach in training because they’ve done it themselves, for real. They are there to encourage you to be the best that you can be.

4. They help you to “see ahead”

Mentors understand how differently you may feel at each stage of the coaching journey. And they can help to describe what might change in the future – “what’s ahead” of you as well as the experiences you are currently having. That’s something that’s sometimes really hard to see for yourself and talking it through can be powerful.

5. No question is “silly”

There is no such thing as a wrong or “silly” question in a mentoring session. If there’s anything that you don’t understand or you’re not clear on – but haven’t mentioned it to your fellow students, on your WhatsApp group or to the trainers – mentoring is an opportunity to bring it up without any judgement.

6. Getting “under the skin” of the Animas approach

Even experienced coaches may need to change their approach if they are to grasp fully the Animas transformational coaching style. There are ways of being and talking that take practice, subtlety and understanding. The mentoring space is a great place to explore those nuances and importantly, what an assessor will be looking for in an assessment recording.

7. Accountability

As coaches, we understand the value of accountability in our work with clients. The same is true of working with an Animas mentor. Finding practice clients, getting sessions recorded, receiving constructive feedback – these are all valuable and supportive “accountabilities” that the mentoring structure helps to bring to your journey.

8. Taking the fear out of recordings!

The learnings and conversations that come from reviewing the recorded sessions are one of the key benefits of mentoring. It’s also an incredibly valuable opportunity to “rehearse” and develop before submitting a recording for assessment. It may also make the key difference to which recording you decide to submit and the reasons for doing so.

9. The personal approach

Although the training weekends are a great opportunity to share and learn from each other, mentoring sessions give an additional one-to-one, in-depth opportunity to explore your own journey in detail. Simply having that space and time to focus on you as an individual is a great resource.

10. Mentors know where everything is!

From the Attestation Form to the Student Recording Assessment sheet, mentors can guide you through everything you need, from the qualification criteria to the paperwork you’ll need to obtain your Diploma in Transformational Coaching. They are here to make your coaching journey even easier and even more enjoyable – make sure to make the most of them!

The impact of mentoring for some Animas coaches

Beatrice

“Besides helping me to be a more effective coach, mentoring also enabled me to see my own blind spots, which we have no matter how good or experienced we are. The purpose of mentoring is to hold a mirror back to us and help us identify where our own stuff gets in the way of supporting our clients.

Mentoring can be used for any kind of challenge we encounter in the coaching space. However, one particular area where I feel mentoring shines, and one that I found it helped me with, is in those situations where we feel personally involved in our client’s issue.”

Alice

“Getting 1-2-1 mentoring on my coaching really helped me to see where I could improve and also where my strengths are. This was particularly helpful early on in my coaching journey as it really boosted my confidence.
It was really useful to have a 1-2-1 touch point whilst studying  and I felt more fully supported in my learning because of the mentoring sessions.”

Ritu

“The mentoring sessions helped allay my fears of whether coaching is the right kind of career for me, it also gave me the confidence to bring a bit of myself into the session through a mix of conversations, anecdotes, and coaching. For me, mentoring sessions have been beneficial as both a course corrector and a sounding board.

Be it bringing my apprehensions of getting enough clients to finish my diploma, or the fear of failure when starting up after qualifying, I’ve brought a range of problems to the mentoring sessions. The mix of pure coaching and few directive inputs has been particularly beneficial in boosting my confidence and showing me the way forward.”

So there you have it, just a few of the many ways that working with a mentor can really benefit you as a coach-in-training. The coaching journey is ongoing, and reflecting on your practice and getting feedback ensures that you are able to continue to grow as a coach. 

Categories: Becoming a coach  

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