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Wendy Buckingham  /  Creator, Life Coaching Professionally

My Path to Finding My Mentor Coach

by Liz Haeberlin

"Begin with the end in mind" was how I began my search for a mentor coach.

First, I made a list of what I expected to get out of our coaching journey. I also wrote what qualifications I was looking for from the ideal candidate. For example, it was important to me to have someone who had built his/her own coaching practice from the ground up. In other words, I wanted someone who had already walked the path I was embarking on.

Before I interviewed for a mentor coach, I first wrote a list of all the reasons WHY I wanted a mentor coach and what areas and roles I was expecting her/him to play. Here is my list:

1. To have the experience of being coached.
2. To become a better coach by seeing good coaching modeled, and to have the opportunity to coach the coach, with positive, constructive feedback.
3. To gain practical business start-up advice.
4. To get feedback, and to have a place to bounce ideas.

During each interview I gauged each person's comfort level to my expectations. (Was she willing to coach the whole person or did she just want to stay in the business side? Could I coach her?)

Last but not least, during the interview process I mainly looked for someone who provided a safe place for me to be totally honest and open.

I interviewed four coaches and eliminated one because she had not started her own independent practice. The other two were eliminated because I did not feel comfortable with their styles enough to be totally open.

Here are the questions I asked:

1. Tell me about yourself, what is your background? What led you to coaching?
2. How long have you been coaching?
3. Tell me about your coaching practice?
4. How many people have you coached? Mentored?
5. How would you describe your coaching style?
6. Do YOU have a mentor coach?
7. What is your regular fee? What discounts do you offer for payment in advance?

A great story to share and really adds to the Mentor Supervisor Checklist

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Created and written by Wendy Buckingham, Class One Productions P/L. Sydney

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