Home Concepts Best Practices What is Mentor Coaching? A Perspective in Practice

What is Mentor Coaching? A Perspective in Practice

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Group Mentor Coaching Process

When the work takes place within a group, a recording may be listened to in advance of said session or one of the participating coaches may perform as the client and another one as the coach. During the session, the Mentor Coach and the remaining peers observe and note their reflections of how the session mapped against targeted skill development areas.

When the group moves to the feedback stage, the Mentor Coach first asks the client to share their impressions, then they ask so to the coach, and finally the Mentor Coach provides their comments. To conclude, the coach shares what they learned in the process and how they plan to apply such learning in subsequent sessions. This participative mechanism will result in every member of the group learning from all of their peers and being enriched beyond the experience levels any one individual might offer. The expected final result is that each coach may introduce all the knowledge they collected in these sessions into their daily practice.


Responsibilities of a Mentor Coach

In its official webpage, the ICF lists suggested behaviors that are desirable and expected from a Mentor Coach. There is also a list of responsibilities a Mentor Coach needs to consider in their professional work. Among them, we call attention to the following:

  1. “Model effective initiation and contracting of coach relationship.” The Mentor Coach is a model for the coach, so they need to be extremely clear and specific in the stage of the process devoted to the contracting of the services that will be rendered. In this moment of the relationship, the Mentor Coach must fully explain to the potential client what Mentor Coaching is, how it operates, what potential expectations the client may hold and how financial aspects will be handled. Many of these tasks are similar to the ones conveyed at the beginning of a coaching process. The main difference is that the Mentor Coach is expected to be absolutely clear and effective, as they are modeling the professional behavior of the coach from the very beginning of the relationship.
  1. “Explore fully with the coach what is aimed at achieving in the Mentor Coaching process.” This exploration comprises two levels. On the one hand, the Mentor Coach wants to acknowledge the specific objectives driving the coach into this learning process. But also, each session is a potential opportunity to focus on the specific competencies that may be chosen by the coach at the beginning of the relationship.
  2. “Ensure both are clear about the purpose of the Mentor Coaching.” Such behavior reinforces the coach-Mentor Coach contract. During the clarification of the purpose of the Mentor Coaching process, it is also possible to include an exploration on the way of learning preferred by the coach, in order to determine how they prefer to receive feedback and what they expect from the learning process and the Mentor Coach.
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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    September 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Members of the coaching industry continue to blur the boundaries between roles through the increasing use by coaches of the term “mentor” as in “mentor-coach.”

    Whereas in the past, coaches made an effort to
    distinguish themselves from mentors (often writing short articles on the differences between the roles), now many coaches have added that role to their repertoire of practice.

    For the most part, the addition of the ‘mentor – coach’ accolade to their resumes seems to be a way to elevate their skill status and promote and market their services to other coaches. The irony here is that acting as a mentor has been historically and is currently a free or completely volunteer service. Mentor-coaches have ignored or rejected this key element of mentoring and charge a fee to work with other coaches. In so doing they have again expanded the scope of their practice, added to the confusion about the difference in roles, and, rather than referring to their work with other coaches as supervision or consultation, have added the status, but not the accuracy of mentoring to their own scope of practice.

    In the article by Goldvarg and Perel, they provide a definition of supervision in order to distinguish it from mentoring, and in so doing try to justify why a ‘mentor coach’ is not acting as a supervisor. However, very few people with experience as supervisors would agree with their definition of supervisor. They basically equate supervisor with a therapist. In addition, very few mentors would agree with their narrow definition of a mentor in that mentors often probe personal areas to determine their relevance to performance and outcomes.


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