Mentor coach clients benefit the most by having feedback and feedforward discussions on their coaching. This is not always easy. Having another person listen to your recorded or live coaching session often feels uncomfortable. There is a sense of vulnerability that arises for many, especially at the beginning of the process.
Compassion, both from the mentor and toward one’s self, has been helpful for those I’ve worked with. It can be used to overcome the hesitation which may arise when you think about and get started with a mentor. Here are three components of compassion.*
- Drop the judgment and invoke Kindness. It is uncomfortable at times to record and listen to your sessions. Acknowledge what it is that comes up for you in this situation. What could you say with kindness toward yourself when you approach the idea of mentoring? When you listen to something you feel you could have done better? If you’re a less experienced coach, allow yourself to be a beginner and adjust your expectations accordingly. If you’re experienced, perhaps there are new (for you) ways of coaching that you want to develop. Mentors are not judges they are partners in your growth.
- Remember you are not alone, and this is part of the human experience. We all get self-conscious when we feel we are being watched. As Brene Brown said “Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”
- Bring in additional perspective. This is part of development as a coach. There might be an internal conversation that goes something like this. “Yes, I could have said something better or more clearly, and what was the impact of what I did? … With this mentor discussion, I’ll do better the next time something like this comes up.” Mentoring is a discussion and focuses on what is important to you at this moment.
Now it is time to bring in a Growth Mindset – With the acknowledgement of what is going on internally and integrating that with compassion, it is easier to learn and be open to feedback. In what ways do you want to grow as a coach?
If you’re interested in exploring group or individual mentor coaching, contact me. Monica Leggett and I are forming a mentor group for this fall. We bring an honest and nurturing style to this work, and want you to be the best coach you can be at this point in your life.
The feeling of being vulnerable that comes up with the idea of receiving feedback on a recorded or live coaching session is real. Bringing compassion in mentor coaching can help you rise above the feeling, and is a measure of courage for the sake of growth.
Dina Markind, PCC, Certified Mentor Coach
*based on Kristin Neff’s discussions of compassion
For a description of what to expect from a mentor coach scroll down to the Duties and Competencies identified by ICF.