Contrary to popular opinion among my students coaching is not an easy option but if delivered well can have a stunning impact on the recipient of the coaching. There is far more to the role than just knowing your subject – although, if you don’t know your subject you’re not likely to be trusted.
Cast your mind back to your school days. Which teachers stood out as being excellent, inspiring you to carry on in a subject and perhaps even leading to a chosen career? What made those teachers great wasn’t just the knowledge of their subject.
In fact, you may even have had the opposite experience at school – a teacher who knew his or her subject but lacked the ability to impart that knowledge and inspire the class.
If you are thinking of being a coach or a mentor, here are some useful characteristics.
You need to:
• show enthusiasm about the subject and about your role as coach/mentor
• be patient
• be knowledgeable about your subject
• be willing to seek out new ideas and methods
• be motivational
• be a good communicator
• be a good listener
• lead by example
• show commitment
• go that extra mile
You probably recognise those traits as being shown by those great teachers you had. Some are natural attributes while others are acquired through undertaking your own training to be a coach or mentor.
Being a great coach or mentor can make a world of difference to your business or career. Not everyone can do it.
Read more in our Useful Guide to Mentoring
- the role of the mentor and the benefits of mentoring and coaching
- finding your natural mentoring style and the key qualities needed
- effective questions to use in the mentoring environment
- active listening – what it is and how to do it effectively including a self assessment exercise and audit
- a learning styles questionnaire to help you understand how your mentee learns so you can tailor your mentoring accordingly
- a Mentoring Competence Self Assessment questionnaire
- the essential steps in becoming a mentee, finding the right mentor for you and working effectively with him/her to deliver your objectives.