Let’s start with a few definitions :
Mentor is a person with considerable experience in the same or a related field of life or business that you are in. You meet, you talk, and he (or she) can simply advise you on something based on his (or her) own experience, and, if necessary, back it up by consulting his (usually wide and valuable) network of contacts.
The main difference from a mentor is that he (or she) doesn’t have to know exactly what you’re doing. He doesn’t have to, because a coach doesn’t give advice, but instead asks wise and skillful questions. He or she does it in such a way that you yourself arrive at the right answer that is in line with you and your values, which is somewhere inside you, in Bohemia. And finally: the coach is screwed because of the ongoing spoiling of the market for these services by people without good education, experience and aptitude. Unfortunately, sometimes admitting that you are a coach is a real shame.
Depending on the stream in which he works – he will advise a little, ask smart questions, diagnose a little, what may be wrong with you. He or she focuses on fixing problems with your psyche and approach to life. Although he often works in a similar field to coaching, in most cases he will be more conservative in his working methods (after all, this profession is a century old) and more deeply educated (which doesn’t mean better or more effective).
Should have (although this varies) practical experience and a lot of theoretical knowledge in the field in which he/she trains. The knowledge is usually transferred on the basis of a premeditated training programme and in a one-to-many mode (trainer and several trainees).
Set of characteristics of an ideal coach
A coach deals with broadly understood personal development, and his basic task is to motivate their charges to action. He helps them to set goals to pursue, contributes to the development of their professional competence. He becomes a professional partner who helps to bring out the potential hidden in everyone. On the way to personal development, it is worth having such a professional person by your side.
It is important to start cooperation with a professional coach, who works with success in mind. Relationship between you and your coach should be very positive and goal-oriented. Good communication will help you achieve your goals.
Ideal coach – what kind of coach?
There is a perfect teacher, doctor and actor. There can also be a perfect coach. This could be said to be the case if a personal development professional possesses the following set of qualities:
knowledge and skills are the great power of a coach. He or she must be very familiar with the theoretical as well as practical issues related to coaching, and must be able to effectively put coaching methods into practice. A coach should have a diploma and a certificate of completion of a coaching course to prove their knowledge and skills. However, the document is not enough to conclude that you are dealing with an ideal coach. Other skills also count.
A professional coach is very effective in all his activities. If the person he or she works with manages to achieve all or most of their goals, you can say that their methods are effective. Due to the fact that the coach will have the ability to draw conclusions, his experience will grow. Thus, he will be able to improve the tools offered to his mentees. Bringing success to the client will then not be a hassle.
High ability to build relationships
A good coach must be able to deal with his own emotions, as well as with the feelings of the client. He should transform frustration into a driving force for action. A professional coach is able to build a friendly, relaxed and fully comfortable relationship with the client, so that there is full trust and understanding between coach and client. On this basis, you can build a lasting foundation for further action.
Expanded observation skills
Attentiveness is an important quality of a good coach. He or she should show interest in the client’s problems and pay attention to even the smallest details of the client’s behaviour. From the general to the specific – this principle will help to work out the way to success. Thanks to the fact that a coach will be able to adequately determine the atmosphere prevailing during an individual meeting with the client, he/she will be able to ask such questions, so that you can deduce what is the cause of the problem and what is blocking the development of professional competence.
A coach should not promise the client a pear cake. It is natural that achieving a goal requires time, full commitment and learning the necessary skills. For some it takes less time, for others more. Everything depends on individual predispositions. The client should receive reliable information from the coach about progress, without coloring the reality.
Sometimes it happens that people who are in a bad mental state report to a coach. A coach is not a psychologist. Responsibility and professional ethics require that the coach in such a situation refers the client to psychotherapy or a doctor for advice.
Supporting, not lecturing
The relationship between the coach and the client should be a partnership. A professional does not impose solutions, but suggests several paths that can be followed to achieve the goal. It’s up to the person concerned, which type of procedure will be chosen. A person in the coaching business cannot give advice, but only helps the client to develop their own solutions. No one will receive ready-made prescriptions from a coach. And that is good. Coaching is to teach independent responsibility for your own life and not to be afraid of making decisions, even if they will have unpleasant consequences.