According to the ICF, Mentor Coaching means: “a credential applicant being coached on their coaching skills rather than coaching on practice building, life balance, or other topics unrelated to the development of an applicant’s coaching skill.”
Ask any Learning Circle Advisor — Mentor coaching isn’t just coaching!
Here are three ways that Mentor Coaching is different from coaching, and reason why we recommend training for anyone who wants to become a Mentor Coach…
Mentor coaching requires expertise in coaching. Now, just because you can coach, doesn’t mean that you understand or can recognize good coaching in others. A mentor coach has to observe and assess the coach’s coaching as a basis for feedback and development. They need to be grounded in the standards of good coaching (such as the ICF core coaching competencies) and able to objectively assess what they observe.
#2: Partnership for Learning
The focus of the mentor coaching relationship is on developing stronger coaching skills, which is a pretty strong “agenda” – set by the mentor coach.
#3: Conversations beyond just “coaching”
After observing and assessing the coaching, a mentor coach also has to do more than just coach. A key part of the process is giving feedback. The artful mentor coach gives feedback in a way that the coach can hear and really take to heart, in a way that opens the possibility for learning. Once the coach is open to learn, the mentor coach engages in a coaching conversation focused on creating new awareness and designing developmental actions that will improve the coaching.
Each of these steps requires a different mode of listening, a different way of understanding, and a different way to engage with the other human being who is involved in the mentor coaching relationship. I believe that only when we understand and can effectively navigate these different ways of being, can we be effective mentor coaches.
In my personal journey to learn how to be an effective mentor coach, I’ve learned a lot, let go of even more, and am humbled by courage of the coaches who work with me.
Are you interested in learning how to be an effective mentor coach?
Mentor Coaching is an important requirement of the ICF Credentialing process and is vital to the development and growth of coaching. ICF actively promotes Mentor Coaching and has evidence that Mentor Coaching improves the quality of coaching by credentialed applicants. As the demand for coaching credentials increases, so will the demand for qualified mentor coaches.
Georgetown University has a 15 year track record in preparing PCC level coaches through our Leadership Coaching Program. Our faculty are not only expert in developing coaches, we are also experienced ICF assessors, each with our own coaching and mentor coaching practice.
Join us – and prepare yourself to be a Mentor Coach!
To learn more about Georgetown University’s virtual educational program “Mentor Coaching Fundamentals” or to register for the program, click here: https://scs.georgetown.edu/courses_nc/XCOA-945/mentor-coaching-fundamentals?cId=15840406&dId=37
The Mentor Coaching Fundamentals course was designed by Julie Shows, Pat Mathews, Jennifer Whitcomb, Karen Gravenstine, and Sue McLed. Jennifer and Sue are teaching the program that starts in January 2015.
This course has applied to the ICF for 19.0 core competency CEU’s (approval pending).