Coaching and Mentoring – The Process Of Personal Growth
8 Fundamental Steps Used In Coaching and Mentoring
Human beings have one thing in common; the internal drive to become better, achieve more, enjoy our talents and to be of value to others. This evolution is known as ‘The Personal Growth Process."
The difficulty so many people have with this process is the lack of a reliable road map or guide to help keep us focused on where we want to go, what that process is and some accountability to keeping our Personal Growth Plan on track. This explains why more and more people are looking to coaching and mentoring for help. A Coach uses a coaching and mentoring process to help clients clarify their vision, clear obstacles and develop their Plan for Personal Growth. Also, both the coach and the client want to have clear understanding about what coaching and mentoring are. While some people come into coaching and mentoring clear about what they want or do not want, some need clarification as a starting point. Often it can be helpful for the Coach to get a baseline of where the client is.
This part of the Coaching and Mentoring process is called exploration.
1. EXPLORE YOUR CLIENTS’ CURRENT SITUATIONS
You can ask your clients to give you a synopsis of their previous day. It might look like this….
• Morning time – How did they feel about getting out of bed (Expectant? Enthusiastic? Depressed? Moody? Nothing felt?)
• Shower/breakfast time – Thoughts about bills or thoughts about relationships. Maybe planning the day or is this worry time?
• Work life – Are they happy with their job or would they rather be doing something else? If the answer is the latter, ask what ideas they have of what they would want.
• Relationships – Are they fulfilled with their relationships? Any thoughts about changes in this area?
• Leisure/ Downtime: ask what activities they engage in when they get home and ask them to categorize which of these activities they enjoy and dislike. Are they having “me time” or are they too busy looking after other’s needs?
2. RATE EACH OF THESE EXPERIENCES
To get a clearer picture of the client’s needs and wants it is helpful to get a measure of the desire for change or even their level of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with their current situation. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being very satisfied and 1 being completely dissatisfied, have them rate each of the above change points and then explore some ideas that they have about making changes. If they are receptive to the possibilities, a Life Coach can even offer to brainstorm some ideas and alternatives. Often this is the start of the coaching and mentoring relationship, getting an overall view of the client.
3. KNOW THE REAL ISSUE
Find out the factors impeding the client’s growth process (body image issues, relationships, work life, self-esteem, etc.) Often this can be critical as the coach/mentor and the client needs to understand the client’s belief systems. Ask clients to rate their current state of overall well-being (physical and mental.) (NOTE: if clients have the need to embellish or tell their stories this is fine especially at the start of the coaching and mentoring relationship).
4. ASK YOU’RE COACHING AND MENTORING CLIENTS TO EVALUATE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEAGUES, FAMILY, FRIENDS IN RELATION TO THEIR GROWTH
The pace at which clients can achieve their personal growth process goals is significantly dependent on the kind of people (environment) they surround themselves with. Create a list including the following headings: SUPPORT, IMPEDIMENT, AND IRRELEVANT. Ask the client to group their significant relationships under the appropriate heading. In coaching and mentoring we want to help the client so the client can see the relationships that are adding value or those that are possibly harmful. Change starts with awareness which is what this process coaching and mentoring process explores.
5. REQUIREMENTS FOR GROWTH
Based on each client’s unique personal profile, developmental areas and growth needs, ask the coaching and mentoring client to come up with some ideas of what might be needed to accelerate their personal growth process (i.e., a cookbook with healthy recipes for clients seeking to lose weight and live healthy, a gym membership for a client seeking to adopt a fit and healthy lifestyle for better wellness, etc.). Understand that this is the client’s work. It is important in Life coaching that we refrain from suggesting what we think is best for the person. The client is in charge of their life and very often knows what is best.
6. TAKING ACTION
Life Coaches always want to encourage their clients to take attainable action between sessions. Life Coaches guide the person through the process of identifying achievable steps that the client is confident they can achieve over the next week. Life Coaches may encourage clients to take “baby steps” to increase the likelihood of success. The coach is cautious to support the client not to pile on everything the client can think of but to analyze what would be productive steps that the client is confident they can achieve over the next week. You may remember the movie “What about Bob” with Richard Dreyfus and Bill Murray. Richard Dreyfuss, the therapist, was known for his process called “Baby Steps.” Often this is what coaching someone towards Personal Growth is similar to.
Coaches and mentors have conversations with their clients that help the client articulate the methods they will use to stay on track with these new goals or processes. It is easy to say “I am going to do …..” but clients need to verbalize the specific ways they are going to take an action step to ensure they will be successful.
8. SETBACKS, PROGRESS, IS RARELY IN A STRAIGHT LINE
Through the coaching and mentorship relationship, there will be ups and downs. The truth is some discomfort can come with the growth process: We want our clients to realize the decision to change can present challenges and even can appear slow. Assure them you as their coach that you are there to help them deal with these issues. Depending on your coaching practice you may allow them to email or text between sessions with any questions or issues they may be having. The important thing is to make sure they know you are in their corner and believe in them.
Helping a client make changes is a challenging exciting process; one that requires a lot of understanding, patience on your part as a coach and mentor plus the willingness and readiness on the part of the client. The focus should be on exploring any roadblocks that get in the way of a person's success in achieving a goal and finding resolutions that work well for the client. We help our clients understand and embrace the growth process which means taking the process, one step at a time – at the client’s pace.
Remember in coaching and mentoring the process is always about the client and THEIR life. Our reward comes from seeing our clients reach their personal growth goals.