Personal Conduct – 4: Excellence points 1 – 4

There are 11 points under the sub-heading of Excellence.  In this article, we will discuss and expand upon the first four points:

  1. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will be aware of the impact of their own belief and values systems and the effect these may have on their Coaching or Mentoring or communication with a consumer.
  2. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will respect the different approaches to Coaching and Mentoring.
  3. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will demonstrate respect for the different approaches, cultures, languages of all other individuals in the coaching and mentoring industry.
  4. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will demonstrate respect for the different approaches, cultures, languages of all consumers.

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1. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will be aware of the impact of their own belief and values systems and the effect these may have on their Coaching or Mentoring or communication with a consumer.

Each person has a personal belief system and it simply is something that that person holds to be true.

Belief systems are based on:

  • something someone else has told you is true and it is something you believe,
    i.e. your parents, your teachers, your friends, your peers, etc.
  • personal experiences,
  • scientific facts, or
  • simply wanting to believe that it is true because it makes you feel better or it is convenient.

It is very easy when a Coach or Mentor is talking to a client, to incorporate their own beliefs into the conversation.  If you take the example of someone who is colour blind and the Coach or Mentor says to them ‘those green leaves … ‘ and the client says ‘no, leaves are not green’; who is right?  In this conversation, it is the client who is right.

Coaching and Mentoring is about the client:

  • it is not about the Coach.
    The life that the Coach is working with is the client’s life and therefore if the client believes that the leaves are not green, it is beholden to the Coach to accept the client’s view of their own world.
  • it is not about the Mentor.
    Having said that, Mentors are permitted to share their own knowledge and experience with the client; but in doing so needs to be aware of how much influence they have over the client’s view of their own world.  If you take the example of the leaves being green; it is beholden to the Mentor to discuss this difference with the client.  The IRCM CIC recognises that it is more challenging for Mentors because they can share their view of their own world when they provide assistance and guidance to their clients.  The outcome of the discussion will be driven by the client, the client’s beliefs, and the clients needs, and not by the Mentor.

Each person has a personal values system and it simply means how each person determines what is a successful and meaningful life.  They represent what is important to each person.

“Personal values are the measuring sticks
by which we determine what is a successful and meaningful life.”
Mark Manson

Without going into details about values, what they are and how they can be determined; let us take an example of a Coach/Mentor having a value of success (with their own very specific meaning) and the Client having a value of success (with their own very specific meaning).  The challenge of using words is the very specific meaning each person applies to the word.  Therefore, the Coach and Mentor must gain a clear understanding of how the client interprets the word they use to describe their own values.

It is very easy when a Coach or Mentor is talking to a client, to incorporate their own values into the conversation.  If you take the example of ‘success’; does the client define ‘success’ in the same way that the Coach or Mentor does?  The Coach or Mentor may have defined their own success as reaching a specific level of income, whereas the client may have defined their own success as promotions within their own career.  Definition of words becomes more difficult when the first language of the Coach or Mentor is not the same as the first language of the client.  In this conversation, it is the client who is right.

Coaching and Mentoring is about the client:

  • it is not about the Coach.
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  • it is not about the Mentor.
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  • The life that the Coach or Mentor is working with is the client’s life and therefore if the client believes that success is about achieving the next promotion, it is beholden to the Coach or Mentor to accept the client’s view of their own world.

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2. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will respect the different approaches to Coaching and Mentoring.

There are many coach and mentor training courses and workshops available for Coaches and Mentors.  Each course and workshop should incorporate the IRCM CIC’s Core Competencies but will include other tools, techniques, skills, etc. and therefore each student will learn not only the industry-accepted core competencies but additional competencies.

With the number of different tool, techniques, skills, etc. trained in the industry, and coach and mentor publications – books, magazines, blogs, and hints/tips – it is important that each Coach, Mentor, and consumer respects the knowledge and subsequently gained experience for every Coach and Mentor within the industry.  If you do not understand the tool, technique, skill, etc. ask; do not assume that the Coach or Mentor is wrong.

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3. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will demonstrate respect for the different approaches, cultures, languages of all other individuals in the coaching and mentoring industry.

4. Coaches, Mentors, and each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation will demonstrate respect for the different approaches, cultures, languages of all consumers.

As we discussed under point 1: values, each person interprets words in their own way.

This interpretation or understanding starts at birth.  A child hears a word from its parents and its initial understanding of that word will come from the way in which the parent used the word.  Their interpretation or understanding may change when they go to school.

Under point 1: values, we used the word ‘success’.  Dictionary.com provides four explanations:

  1. the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
  2. the attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.
  3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honours.
  4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

When you use the word ‘success’, what do you mean?

When your client uses the word ‘success’, what do they mean?

When your parents, colleagues, peers, or friends use the word ‘success’, what do they mean?

This is made more difficult across languages.  Talking in your first language (the language of your birth) gives you an advantage, as you will learn words and may change the meaning as you get older.  Talking in a second, third, or even fourth language means that the person talking will use a word as they have translated from their own language.  Becomes more difficult when you consider colloquialisms and terminology and technology.

Every culture has different ways of behaviour or expressing itself.  For example, some cultures believe that opening a door for someone older than you is part of the countries values and the way in which people from that country will behave.  Other cultures believe that the person opening the door walks through first.  Neither is right and neither is wrong.  It is a different way of looking at the world.

In the coaching and mentoring industry, every person working within the industry will demonstrate their respect for each consumer and person working within the industry.  Just because that person is different, does not mean they are wrong.  What it means is that they look at the world through a different perspective.

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Although this article refers to Coaches and Mentors; it is equally important that each individual working within a coaching/mentoring organisation whether they are a receptionist, administration, book-keeper, accountant, trainer, course/workshop creator, mentor, coach, or any other person working within a coaching and/or mentoring organisation recognises that they are part of the coaching and mentoring industry; and therefore, each clause also applies to them.