Posted 01 July 2014 by Chris Farmer
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Non-Directive Coaching and Mentoring
Coaching and mentoring are both forms of non-directive teaching.
Non directive teaching is radically different to directive teaching.
Rather than a directive teacher saying, "Do this. Do that. Learn this. Learn that." a coach or mentor would use a series of provocative questions that would induce the learner to find his, her own answers.
There are two major skills associated with non-directive coaching and mentoring:
- Role modelling.
- Using questions as a means of training.
Let us look at each in turn.
The skill of coaching and mentoring is in the act of role modelling of the proper method, meaning, that you must be a good example of the methods you propose that others should use.
If you were a good coach, mentor, role model, you would never tell people they should act in a certain way, and then, yourself, act in an opposite way.
In order to be an effective coach and mentor, you need to be prepared to be a good role model, to hold yourself to the same high standard of behaviour that you are expecting of your learner.
As a coach and mentor: Don't just tell them what you want; instead, demonstrate to them by your own actions, what you want.
Using questions as a means of training
The second skill of coaching and mentoring is in the art of asking questions that will trigger useful thought activity in the mind of your listener.
Asking questions, rather than giving commands and instructions, is the key difference that separates the coach or mentor, from the directive teacher.
Try not to give so many instructions. Instead become an expert at asking questions.
How to ask good coaching questions
Start to think about making your points by triggering a thought process in the mind of your listener that will result in the learner, "figuring it out for himself".
In fact, the learner is being assisted in the act of figuring it out, by the questions that you are asking him. But from the learner's perspective, it feels as if he is thinking it through personally.
This is the art of good coaching.
A set sequence of coaching questions
How could you start making your points by asking questions that will trigger a thought process in the mind of your listener?
To get you started, here is a set of questions that you could ask anyone.
Learn this list of seven questions and apply them to yourself and others.
- What is the goal that you want to achieve?
- How would you describe that goal numerically? Can you put numbers on your goal?
- For areas of your goal that cannot be described numerically, how would you define your goal using word definitions?
- Now you have defined your goal both numerically and in words, tell me, why is the goal important to you?
- In order to achieve your goal, what skills or additional knowledge would you need to gain?
- In order to achieve the goals, what material resources would you need to gain? Meaning what material, money, manpower, machinery and mechanisms will you need to get?
- What are the milestone deadlines? By when do you want to have achieved the goal?
Use coaching questions to trigger good thoughts, feelings and actions
If you ask these questions in the order they are given, and if you push the learner for detailed answers, and if you write down their answers, and if you have the learner write down his, her answers too, then you will trigger some very useful activity in the mind of your listener that will be the beginnings of some rapid goal achievement.
And the rapid achievement of worthwhile, valuable goals is what we are in business for.
The rapid achievement of your valuable goals would make you wealthy, wise and happy.