It has been a tremendous experience in the past few months, interacting with my mentees. The mentoring experiences have more pros than cons. Considering the dynamic work environment is one of the most rewarding experiences a mentor can ask for because not only do you get the chance to share your learnings but the ever-evolving group of mentees applying your theories in the practical environment can be extremely exciting to witness. my objective as their mentor was to guide them, provide some insights and create a safe space where the mentees could voice their aspirations dilemmas and fears (Son, 2016).
In the first few weeks, I established a rapport through bi-weekly group sessions where a group of 4 mentees sat with me and discussed their event is the day. It was here that I got to know the group members at a closer glance. Their collective fears and aspirations became clear to me. It was fascinating to see the growth in real-time. Considering the generational gap or even the technological advancements I was both surprised and relieved to know that the existential dilemmas are the same for every generation. I made it a point to as them what their expectation from their life is. Through discourse and more interactions, I tried to assess their cognitive abilities and emotional intelligence. This is imperative a sit helps me draw a realistic comparison between their abilities and their aims.
After this, I started taking individual sessions. For one hour, twice a week, I sat with each mentee and interacted with them for over an hour. It was here that I formed valuable insights about their personalities that helped me develop a better understanding. If often so happens that mentors end up misjudging their mentees entirely, it necessary to keep a neutral yet curious viewpoint at all times so that it helps us hone our understanding. It was my job to provide them with more clarity and understanding of their achievable goals. It was also my job to make them focus on their strengths and develop a sense of confidence that would help them gain a competitive advantage. And fortunately, I understood the significance of stimulation through intellectual conversation and motivation.
The idea here was not to guide them every step of the day but to give them a safe place where they felt autonomy and freedom. I developed an action plan and a list of goals that were achievable to create a sense of momentum. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their learning and tried to encourage them without being too overwhelming. My most important learning has been the fact that as a mentor, one must be ready to encourage their mentees but there should also be ample space in the relationships so that the mentee doesn’t feel like he is being spoon-fed (Cushion, 2018). This was about long-term career planning a di wanted to be of as much assistance as possible.
Perhaps my most valuable gain was the experience of learning the significance of empathy. By providing the mentees with a safe place to be themselves and by listening to them, I understood the difference between empathy and sympathy. Often when someone’s trying to tell us their problem, we end up interrupting them to offer them solutions. The whole idea behind effective mentorship allows the mentee to express themselves, where a patient mentor listens to them. This way, when they hear themselves talk about their dilemmas, they can come up with their solutions (Lucas- Thompson 2020). Before this experience, I used to find it hard to focus on conversation or keep my attention going for a few hours, but this experience has made me more self-aware about my role in conversations. I am conscious of the effect reliable communication van has on the overall development of the mentee.
Previously I had conducted 2 hours of a coaching session with three of my clients in the entire month of July. All three clients had been individuals I had known for the past 5 years or more and hence we shared good chemistry and rapport. When I decided to take this executive coaching session, they contacted me for a session because they were familiar with me. At the beginning of each of these sessions, I me the client beforehand and explained the objective nature of the sessions. I made them understand that I would just be facilitating the “self-directed learning, personal growth and improved performance’ (Bresser & Wilson 2016).
My emphasis was on the GROW model that would help my clients actualise their potential. In the first couple of days of I decided to speak to my clients and understand their need motivations and aspirations. By facilitating an environment that gave them the freedom to talk about their goals I urged them to dig deeper and uncover their ultimate ambitions concerning their careers and lives. At this stage, the reflection is for me as well as the client. This is the point where I encourage them to understand their context concerning their reality and their very role in it. I asked them about their feelings around their goal and how it would feel to achieve those goals. These early interactions gave me an interesting glimpse of their psyche and also helped the client visualise their future. This was a major takeaway that I will ensure to implement without fail even in future coaching sessions. The key is to interested yet detached, to allow freedom and facilitate clarity when talking about goals (Campbell, 2016).
My interactions with the first client were freer flowing than with the second client. I understood the significance of speaking in the clear conscious language and understanding the body language of my clients. Sometimes the situations may be a little nerve-wracking for somebody who is getting overwhelmed thinking about the change their lives need. So it is always advisable to ease into the conversation and let the client do all the talking. After the first session, I was careful enough to be more languid yet involved in my questions about understanding the goals of the second client. Post the second session. The conversation moved more smoothly and we then moved to the second part of the GROW model- reality.
At this stage, the client and I were to make sense of their goals concerning their current reality. This is the stage where all the planning occurs. After understanding the same, we developed a small action plan for the immediate future. These kinds of action plans provide the necessary inks of motivation that make the client believe that they are on the right path. In the second week and a half, I noticed a bit of change in the attitudes of my clients as they slowly tried changing their habits and viewpoints. After the initial hiccups, they were more eager to learn about how they could improve their quality of life. I discovered how effective and well-directed action plan and communication can invoke a feeling of very high motivation among adults.
By the third week, we had moved to the more stratified area of opinions. This is the stage where I asked them to delve deeper through more creative and philosophical questions that would need them to think harder. I could see that now that I had established their complete trust in me as a coach, they were more receptive and genuinely looked for ways in which they could rediscover and understand or develop more perspectives about their reality. There were times where I did worry about if I was asking the right questions but the slightly informal yet collaborative nature of the conversation allowed for some improvisation and the clients were able to continue smoothly.
The part of will questions was genuinely much smoother because by now we had spent ample amount of time in the other areas. Because of this, we were able to develop a constructive action plan that would help in increasing the self-efficacy of clients (d Haan et al., 2013). This journey has kickstarted my process of self-discovery wherein the questions have given me a deeper sense of idea about my professions and this depth will reflect in my practice.
I have had an extraordinary experience coaching the XYZ organisation for the past 6 months. I was hired as an organisational coach to transform the workplace dynamics and introduce a sense of energy and fluidity to increase ethe organisation output. Over the course of 24 weeks, I have seen truly remarkable changes that have not only helped the company but also change my worldview and idea about coaching. There were some ups and downs but the entire process has been so rewarding that I feel it has made me truly richer in terms of experience.
My main objective was to create a level of awareness that would help in increasing the overall company productivity and inspire them to improve their work ethic. The continuous sense of activity and reflection is designed in a way that will help employees achieve their goals and set higher standards of excellence across the organisation. In my first few weeks I noticed that though the employees were hardworking, their goal setting was poor. This meant that they were putting more hours into work but their directions and ideas were scattered that did not let them achieve optimum results (Finney, 2016).
As a coach, the first thing I did was establish a semi-formal rapport with each of the employees for the first few weeks this was to assess the relationship between their goals and current reality. Then I made a thorough comprehensive report about the assimilation of the same for the organisational plan. After this, I took the company mission and devised an action plan that would help in creating a framework the employees could follow. The entire process made me nervous at parts due to the size of the company but I trusted my gut and went forward with my ideas.
Along with the HR executives of the company we created a thorough plan to meet and interact with the employees regularly to create a sense of solidarity and familiarity. We implemented the SMART model and parts of the GROW model through various activities. One example of such was the role-play exercise where I instructed two participants to act as coach and mentees and ask questions to each other about their goals to confirm if the goals were following the SMART model. This model analyses goals based on how specific, measurable, achievable relevant and time-framed they are (Shinde and Bachhav, 2017).
I was often struck by the vastness of the exercise and would need some time to understand and contextualize the entire experience. The goal-setting was creating deep learning and transformation for not just the clients but also me. Over the course of the next few months, I saw how the behavioural transformation took place due to the simple application of the smart model and consistent reflection activities. Through my experience, I also understood the importance of collaborations and partnerships that help in creating a more developed framework that can help employees perform better.
Son, S., 2016. Facilitating employee socialization through mentoring relationships. Career Development International.
Lucas-Thompson, R.G., Weiler, L.M., Haddock, S.A., Henry, K.L., Zimmerman, T.S., Krafchick, J. and Prabhu, N., 2020. “Listening In”: Improving the Science and Practice of Mentoring Through Naturalistic Observations of Mentor–Mentee Relationships. Journal of Child and Family Studies, pp.1-10.
Cushion, C.J., 2018. Reflection and reflective practice discourses in coaching: A critical analysis. Sport, education and society, 23(1), pp.82-94..
Campbell, J., 2016. Framework for practitioners 2: The GROWTH model. Coaching in professional contexts, pp.235-240.
Finney, D., 2016. THE COACHING-MENTORING-MANAGING CONTINUUM.
de Haan, E., Duckworth, A., Birch, D. and Jones, C., 2013. Executive coaching outcome research: The contribution of common factors such as relationship, personality match, and self-efficacy. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 65(1), p.40.
Shinde, S. and Bachhav, A., 2017. The potential of managerial coaching for employee effectiveness: A brief review. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 8(2), pp.181-185.
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