The coach and mentor’s greatest asset?
Reflection! Reflection! AND . . . More Reflection!
Not just after the event but . . . reflection before, during and after coaching and mentoring.
I am often asked what is the one activity that I find makes all the difference to securing best practice as a coach or mentor. My answer is always REFLECTION.
Because taking time out to think about your practice as a coach or mentor always brings illumination and growth in you as a person as well as in you as a coach or mentor.
And – why reflection before, during and after coaching and mentoring?
Because scheduling dedicated time before, during and after coaching and mentoring gives you the opportunity to catch different kinds and levels of illumination. All of which intertwine to bring a rounded and integrated view of your practice as well as of your client’s ‘real’ focus. Ideally a 365% view!
And – importantly – when I am thinking about reflection I am thinking about it for your client as well as for you as the coach or mentor. This is a great example of where role modelling excellent coaching and mentoring practice enables you to gift essential skills and processes to your client that support their own self coaching.
You know already that if there is to be movement forward then it is crucial for both you and your client to have made a conscious decision to reflect on and make sense of what is happening in the session i.e. for you to be in a shared learning ‘state’.
And – I am sure that you also discuss how important reflection is for both of you in capturing learning after a session. One measure of your effectiveness as a coach or mentor will often be found in how far and how fast your client has moved between sessions!
However, how often have you thought about the importance of reflection before the event? Reflection which ensures that both you and your client come to coaching and mentoring psychologically and emotionally ready for action?
Reflection at its very best frames a coaching and mentoring session and offers the opportunity
to tease out every bit of learning there is to be had!
And – as with any really useful process, skill or tool, its conscious use is essential until it becomes so internalised that it happens automatically. Although this will never negate the importance of scheduling in time for reflection before, during and after your sessions. Regardless of how long that session is going to be.
I usually include discussion about reflection in at the contracting stage of my work so that each client can think about how they want to build it in to their coaching or mentoring. Which sounds a good place to end this blog – before continuing the theme next week after you have had time to reflect on reflection!
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