Mentoring and coaching are similar but not the same. The power lies in the quality of the question. If the mentor is properly equipped, the conversations and guidance are significant enough to influence the mentee. If not, you may have great companionship but not much more.
Coaching approaches the relationship with the underlying presupposition that the coach does not have all the answers, instead the participant does.
Here’s how that might play out in a session with a student:
MENTOR- If you skip school to hang with your friends who are also skipping school, you are likely to fall behind in your grades and potentially find yourself in trouble. This will limit your options for further education and careers as well as your relationships. I recommend you find some new friends who will encourage and inspire you to go to class, focus on your education and build quality relationships.
COACH – What do you believe will be the result of skipping class? Will there be an impact on your future dreams, goals, relationships? What if you had friends who inspired you in your studies? Would that make a difference? How would it be different?
As you can see, the topic of the conversation could be exactly the same, but teens who have a skewed picture of the future may have answers to those questions which will shock you.
If you or your teen are working with a coach or mentor, make sure they have set some clear goals for the results you desire. Make sure the questions lead somewhere and prove out the answers that drive change.
Excellent Life Leadership by J Loren Norris
Learn more about The Attitude of Excellence and the driving factors behind it. Click here.