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How to choose a great mentor coach

Why you might need a Mentor Coach, runs the gamut from self-improvement in your coaching, a continual growth mindset, to needing hours to renew you International Coach Federation (ICF) Credentials. You most especially need Mentor Coaching hours if you are planning to get your ACC or PCC Credentials and level up your coaching professionalism. Hopefully, the Mentor you choose will help you step across the threshold and support your continual success.

I have not passed my PCC application twice! It’s expensive and I need to know that the money I am spending will help me be successful!

What to Look for in Your Mentor Coach

This is a very important question here is a check list that might help you in your decision-making process.

  • Does the Mentor have special training? Powerful Mentor Coaching doesn’t happen without an understanding of the Core Competencies and that typically requires extra training.
  • Do they specialize in Mentoring coaches?
  • Are you going to be sending them your client call recordings and doing self-assessments through the engagement? This is crucial to your success in passing the PCC Markers, you and your mentor need to be listening to the same calls, and you need to be developing your own insights into how your coaching fits within the ICF Core Competency framework.
  • Do they offer you a framework for assessing yourself in relationship to the Core Competencies? Do you get a worksheet that you can use as your development tool?
  • Do they offer client releases as part of their package? When you record clients, for training or for credentialing, you need a release that gives you permission to record and share the recording.
  • How long have they been coaching?
  • Are they in their own coaching growth process? For example, are they taking advanced coaching classes for continual improvement? Do they get their own coaching? Or, do they teach at a Coaching School? All these things keep people in a growth process.
  • Are they an Active Member of ICF? Many coaches join ICF for their credentials and then don’t renew for 3 years. That is a bit of an ethical issue especially for someone teaching the Core Competencies. I would ask, are you an active ICF member?
  • You might ask about some of their success stories, to get a feel for who they are.
  • After talking to several Mentor Coaches, and I recommend that you chat with at least 3 different people, consider who you feel most comfortable with. As in any development situation, you will get improvement feedback. You need to feel comfortable in hearing that from who ever you work with. You can often assess this by noticing how you feel when you talk with people. Notice your internal sense, listen to your gut.
  • Will this person help you to stretch in your own growth? I have spoken to many coaches who got mentoring from a friend, it didn’t cost much, but most of the conversation was personal and the passing ratio for this type of mentoring is low.

Each of us accomplishes more with support. What matters is having a supportive environment so you can do more than you might do alone. Let’s look at an example: You have a beautiful draft horse, and this horse can pull 1,500 pounds, but you need to pull more weight than that, so you gather up a second draft horse that can also pull 1,500 pounds. You might assume that between the two horses, they could now pull 3,000 pounds, right? Well, yes, they can, but here psychology steps in, so, in fact, the two horses can pull something closer to 4,500 pounds. Because something fascinating happens when the horses work together, they are empowered and benefit from the teamwork. And, even more interestingly, if the horses have trained together and developed their relationship, they can pull more and faster than they could have pulled alone.

Take your time and interview a few Mentor Coaches, see who resonates for you.

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