As printed in Forbes Magazine: 5 Keys to Being a Great Mentor, Leader and Coach
David Schnurman, CEO of Lawline and FurtherEd, and an FOM client and friend, recently conducted a series of interviews with President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, Kim Ades. Here is the result of one of those interviews,recently published in Forbes magazine:
What if you realized that being an effective mentor was as much about you as it was about your mentees? Believing that you have the time to mentor someone else starts off with a shift of your mindset, and here’s why. When you think of it as a time drain, it is becomes exhausting, and the commitment is not valuable to you. However, when being a mentor is done with the right intention, you walk out of each meeting with more energy and focus than you ever did before. The reason is that when you do something that fuels you it doesn’t matter how much time you are committing, because your intention allows you to walk lit up, inspired and ignited with energy.
This article is put together from an interview I recently did with Kim Ades, a highly acclaimed author and international coach, and CEO of Frame of Mind Coaching. She shares with us five key principles will make you a more effective mentor.
1. You Must Understand What You Really Get Out of Being a Mentor
It is the most important question. At the end of the day you coach for you. “Every time you coach you are giving yourself an opportunity to sharpen your own frame of mind.” states Kim. “It allows you to better reach your own goals. It allows you to stay on track as a coach and stay true to your focus. You are better able to reach your goals by coaching someone else.”
Whenever Kim coaches a client she is reminded of the basic principles of thought management. What it comes down to is that at the end of the day, the big secret in coaching is it is really about the coach, even though the client is the beneficiary.
Kim states that a mentor should remember this line: “I coach you for me and together we create magic.” She says if you don’t own your part in this formula then you get drained and mentoring is not going to work. Not for the client, and not for you.
2. Mentoring is Really About Building Confidence
At the end of the day the goal of coaching is to help your mentees build up confidence in themselves. Kim states, “You can’t just tell someone you have to be confident. It is a seed that you have to grow. As a mentor you have to plant that seed, water the seed, add sunshine, and help it grow.” From her experience, she feels that most people do not succeed because they have a great deal of self-doubt and therefore they self-sabotage.
3. Journaling – The Best way to Really Get to Know Your Mentee
Kim’s clients journal on a regular basis. She reads the journals on a secure online journal software that she created for her clients, and she comments on those journals throughout the week. This prepares her long before she comes to the weekly call, by allowing her to better understand her client’s thinking. Some questions that the mentee can answer weekly, and that allow the mentor to gain a wealth of previously un-mined knowledge are: 1) What is your greatest business challenge, 2) what goal are you trying to achieve, 3) what is getting in the way?
Kim states that, “ In order to have an influence on someone you need to know them super well. It is a night and day experience when they journal vs when they do not.” She finds that many times mentors will give direction without a full set of information; the journaling process changes that.
4. Understanding Your Thoughts Really do Lead to Your Achievement
It is really a simple idea, but hard to execute in practice. The way you think determines what you can achieve. The actions of your mentees are a source of information, but only a surface source. As the mentor, your job is to dig deeper, thereby uncovering your mentees’ beliefs which allows you to really challenge them in an impactful way.
5. Understanding What Success Really means as a Mentor
I asked Kim, since mentorship has an end point, how do you really know you were successful? She threw it back to me and said, “Let me ask you as the mentor: Are you where you need to be?” Of course the answer was NO, because we are always on the path to somewhere. She then summed it up perfectly with the following: “The question is not ‘how do you know if you were successful’, it is ‘has the mentee made progress?’” And overall that is the goal — to use mentorship as a tool to grow for both you and your mentees.
Want to read another article about Kim’s way of thinking? Click Here to read about the 5-step process necessary for Mentorship, also based on an interview conducted by David Schnurman.