The ICF defines Mentor Coaching as providing professional assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency demanded by the desired credential level sought by a coach‐applicant (mentee). Furthermore, Mentor Coaching means an applicant (mentee) being coached on their coaching skills rather than coaching on practice building, life balance, or other topics unrelated to the development of an applicant’s coaching skill.
ICF Mentor Coaches:
- Model effective initiation and contracting of client relationship
- Explore fully with a potential mentee what they are looking to achieve
- Ensure both are clear about the purpose of the mentoring
- Establish measures of success in partnership with the mentee
- Fully discuss fees, time frame, and other aspects of a Mentor Coaching relationship
- Inform the mentee regarding all aspects of the ICF Code of Ethics
- Inform the mentee of the availability of the Ethical Conduct Review Board
- Support mentee self‐confidence by encouraging potential mentees to interview more than one mentor coach candidate in order to find the best match
- Make no guarantee to the mentee that as a result of the mentoring the mentee will obtain the credential level s/he is seeking
- Focus on core competency development by reviewing and providing oral and written feedback on a series of the mentee’s coaching sessions
a. These sessions are to be conducted one at a time, with a feedback session between each one, giving enough time between sessions to allow for incorporation of the mentee’s learning and development.
- Provide specific verbal and/or written feedback, using targeted examples from the sessions so that:
a. The mentee will know exactly what s/he is doing well.
b. The mentee understands what needs to be done to develop a deeper level of mastery in coaching.
- Demonstrate that s/he is learning about the mentee at many levels at once and is able to hold all of that in the context of:
a. Who the mentee is
b. What the mentee is seeking
c. Honoring the mentee’s unique style
The ICF Mentor Coach:
- Is trustworthy and has the ability to connect with the mentee in terms of fit, chemistry and compatibility.
- Is someone who encourages the mentee to reach beyond what the mentee initially feels is possible, assisting in broadening their creative process.
- Demonstrates equal partnership by being open, vulnerable and willing to take appropriate risks, for example, in providing feedback that may make one or both individuals uncomfortable.
- Understands and is able to model the value of partnership and, as an example, allows/encourages the mentee to lead in designing areas to be worked on between sessions that will lead to more powerful, leveraged coaching.
- Has the ability to be supportive and authentic in celebrating who the mentee is, her/his achievements and growth throughout the process.
- Is secure in their own work and is able to demonstrate appreciation and respect for the unique style of each mentee.
- Encourages the development of the mentee’s own coaching style
- Is willing to hold both self and mentee accountable for performance and to periodically encourage mutual assessment of the effectiveness of the relationship
The ICF Mentor Coach:
- Listens beyond content to discern application of the skills related to the core competencies (i.e. skill versus direction, skill versus style or skill versus outcome for the client.)
- Listens on all levels: physical, intellectual, emotional and intuitive
- Listens equally for strengths and areas for growth
- Is aware of and allows for differences in style, culture, and language.
- Has a working knowledge of the assessment tools used by the ICF in the evaluation of recorded coaching sessions used in the credentialing exam process.
- Listens both for the presence of individual competencies and for the overall totality of skill level.
- Has the ability to distinguish which critical underlying competency (s) may be giving rise to ineffective or limited coaching impact.
- Can discern and articulate the gap between levels of skill demonstrated and next skill level to attain.
- Discerns and articulates areas of growth, competency use, and skill level using competency based language and specific behavioral examples from the coaching.
- Creates a safe and trusting space for the delivery of feedback, using a respectful, clear, judgment free tone.
- Articulates with specific detail and examples, what is being observed and the specific development needed to move to the next skill level, delivered with sensitivity to the impact of the feedback.
- Offers feedback that is relevant to each specific coaching core competency, recognizing strengths as well as potential growth areas.
- Demonstrates the ability to self‐manage relative to any coaching model preferences and stay focused on the skill assessment related to the core coaching competencies.
*Developed in partnership between the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) and the International Coach Federation (ICF).
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