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Personal Development

7 Skills to Become an Effective Coach and Mentor

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Tuba Tasneem

March 27, 2023

Read time : 05 mins

Table of contents

Skills Of Mentor Skills Of Manager

Introduction

Before you can be a successful coach and mentor, you must develop a variety of abilities. They may not have occurred to you, even if some are obvious (like active listening). Learning and practising the required abilities can help you advance personally and enhance your practice.

Each ability will be covered in this essay, focusing on effective listening. After that, we’ll discuss how to assess the effectiveness of your coaching or mentoring sessions and provide you with some sample assessment questions.

7 Skills to Become an Effective Coach or Mentor

Skills Needed to Be an Effective Mentor or Coach

It is becoming more and more common for people to get assistance through coaching and mentoring to advance their goals or objectives or gain new skills, information, and experience. The main distinction between the two is that while coaching is non-directive (i.e. the coach gives the coachee the space to come up with their conclusions and next steps, using techniques like questioning), mentoring is directive (i.e., the mentor does most of the talking during meetings and may instruct the mentee what to do).

Despite the distinctions, both mentoring and coaching require a similar set of abilities to be successful. These abilities are listed below.

1. Active Listening

In order to comprehend the mentee’s perspective, beliefs, and values, as well as the challenges they confront and their goals, coaches and mentors must actively listen to their charges. Making eye contact and asking pertinent questions while putting your thoughts and worries aside are all part of effective listening. It also requires showing the speaker that you are paying full attention to what they are saying.

2. Empathy and Understanding

Being less judgmental due to empathy and understanding is essential for developing relationships as a coach and mentor. It is crucial for coaches and mentors to be able to “place themselves in that person’s shoes,” or to detect an individual’s mental condition. This will assist you in developing appropriate solutions or recognising limiting beliefs or other impediments to their growth, some of which they may not be aware of. With time and effort, the capacity for empathy can be enhanced.

3. Communication

In order to gently share the individual’s private ideas, feelings, or problems and to express intended meanings rather than being unclear or coming across incorrectly, coaches and mentors must be skilled communicators. This requires being able to foresee how the other person would understand your words and, if required, adapting what you were about to say.

If you are a coach, you should constantly keep in mind to speak with people politely, offering ideas while also allowing them the chance to object or move the conversation elsewhere.

4. Setting Goals

This is especially important for coaches, who must work with the mentee to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals and then analyse how their activities are in accordance with achieving those goals. You should assist the mentee in remaining goal-oriented at all times and in viewing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than setbacks.

5. Questioning

By asking the right questions, you can elicit someone’s thoughts and opinions, focus their attention on developing a fresh concept or solution, and give them the confidence to feel like a changemaker. In order to guide or facilitate the mentee’s problem-solving and thought processes rather than providing them with solutions, coaches often use the questioning technique.

6. Giving Feedback

You must be able to provide your mentee with accurate, detailed, and sincere feedback without being unduly critical or judgmental. Negative thoughts might demoralise the people you work with. Never blame the person; in these cases, the conversation will improve if you encourage them to talk about what happened and what they think they could do differently in the future as a lesson learned. Additionally, you should frequently provide constructive criticism by praising their efforts when they are successful, recognising their accomplishments, and highlighting their qualities.

7. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is a discipline that requires effort and purpose to maintain, but it eventually pays dividends. Being passionate about something makes others more likely to trust you, which makes it easier to get the best performance out of them.

Skills of a Manager

Managers share many traits and abilities with coaches and mentors. Managers frequently serve as mentors or coaches for the team members they oversee. They help people navigate daily tasks and enhance their performance or professional development. Additionally, they might draw attention to people’s assets, encourage self-reflection, and give them more control over their jobs.

Therefore, managers must practise the abilities we’ve covered. Since managers have a power relationship with the people they deal with and lack the same objectivity as external coaches and mentors, some areas of development may be more challenging for them.

They have a stake in the person’s performance, which may cause them to provide suggestions before giving the person a chance to come up with their own, or it may cause them to have preconceived notions about the person and their performance. They should concentrate on being non-judgmental and asking open-ended questions to combat this.

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