If you have a life coach who is having mentor coaching to sharpen and deepen her coaching skills, what she learns she will pass on to you. As a coach who has both been mentored and mentored other coaches, I have experienced the value that skillful mentoring can add to what a coach can offer to their clients.
Below are two major ways in which I see mentor coaches helping their coach clients be able to give their own clients— maybe you!— the kind of coaching that creates deeper awareness and leads to more lasting impact and successful results!
Confidence in Making Transformative Changes
What would it be like to have someone at your side to help you have confidence in making transformative changes? "Great mentors . . . see us in ways that we have not been seen before. And at their best they inspire us to reach beyond ourselves; they show us how to make a positive difference in a wider world." —Dr. Laurent A. Parks Daloz, Mentor: Guiding the Journey of Adult Learners
Almost every client I've ever coached has aspired to make positive changes in the wider world. My coach clients, in particular, have found their life purpose by making strategic changes in the way they work and helping their clients to do the same. One woman was a doctor who became a life coach helping parents, teachers, and doctors work compassionately and successfully with people with ADHD. Another is a former corporate employee who now coaches other women with business backgrounds wanting to re-direct their talents towards social action projects.
With these coach clients, I dig more deeply into when their confidence in going for the big picture of what they want to offer feels shaky and what they need to do feel that confidence again. As we do this, they realize that this is often exactly what they're supporting their own clients in doing. I once asked a coach I was mentoring who felt she was pushing too hard when she didn't feel confident enough, "If you want to get off the escalator, what does that look like to you?" There was a pause, then she replied, with a sense of surprise in her voice, "That is the exact question I ask my clients!"
Moving out of Limited Thinking into Resonant Change
Creating resonant change is about making the kind of change that resonates with who you really are. The art of coaching is about inviting your client into a deeper place by listening to his experience. You're probing. You're going deeper into what your client might not be saying or doesn't yet know. As a mentor coach, I encourage coaches to go beyond what a client says, and into the tone and emotional breaks of his voice, the level of energy he projects, and his silences. In using curiosity and deep listening skills, coaches support their clients in making the new changes in their lives that they truly desire.
Life coach Ron Renaud, PCC, in a recent webinar for the International Coach Federation (ICF) Los Angeles, highlighted something very important about what a skillful coach offers his clients. "Coaching is about helping people get access to the richest parts of themselves. By the accessing the pathways of sensing, feeling, and thinking in their clients, the coach helps his clients go more deeply into what they say they want— and emerge knowing what is really important to them."
In mentoring other coaches, I support them by questioning and exploring limited, narrowly defined choices, encouraging them to feel where their inner awareness and energy are leading them to make breakthroughs. This, then, adds to their professional tools for helping their clients make their own vital discoveries and changes.
Exposure to this deeper, broader way of coaching is how mentoring can offer coaches the skills needed to help their clients move out of limited thinking and develop the confidence to make changes that will transform their lives!