Mentor Coaching – How Come?

LINKS — See also: Mentor Coaching and Football? for context, and How I Mentor Coaches for specifics —

Why MENTOR Coaching?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
ADDCoach Trainer & Certified Mentor Coach

An older female helping a younger one put a puzzle together

All coaching
targets your functioning,
wherever the application.

MENTOR Coaching targets
your development as a Coach,
first and foremost.

Hiring a Mentor Coach to coach you through the practice development phase helps you put the practice puzzle together:  it straightens out your learning curve and gives you guidance and encouragement as you define and build your career.

Clients ready for a Mentor Coach:

  • have already done a lot of Foundation work, either through a formalized training or from the school of life
  • feel confident that they are ready to work with others in this regard (and may be practicing coaches who have been “flying solo” for some time)
  • have already acquired a great many coaching skills, and may well feel they have been coaching all their lives while making a living at something else
  • hire a Mentor Coach primarily for acquiring additional skills and for practice development coaching. 

They look to their Mentor Coach to help them:

  1. deepen their personal growth
  2. hone and expand their coaching skill set, and
  3. strategize steps toward a professional coaching practice
    that is personally and financially rewarding.

By definition, coaches are on the fast track with personal growth. Mentor Coaching puts them on the fast track with practice growth.

Investing in yourSelf

I believe that Mentor Coaching is the single best investment you can make for your coaching practice  – and your Self.

Thomas Leonard, founder of CoachU, and my first coaching mentor said,

Coaches who have coaches get up and running up to 4 times faster
than those who use a “lone ranger” approach.

They experience more satisfaction with their practices because – from the very beginning:

  • they attract and maintain more clients with less effort,
  • reduce areas of toleration and resultant stress, and
  • make more money

Almost all of the coaches who work at the top of the field have been mentored. Most will tell you that their early successes came as a direct result of working with a Mentor Coach. Some will admit that they might not have stayed in the field if those successes hadn’t been there!

Even those of us who started when the coaching field was in its infancy, a time when there were few Mentor Coaches to hire, found mentors in similar fields. Most of us have worked on specific practice goals with Mentor Coaches subsequently.

Hybrid Help

Mentor coaching with me is tailored specifically to YOUR needs.  Sometimes I’ll work with you as a Mentor Coach, sometimes I’ll put on my Coach hat, and sometimes it makes sense to don my Trainer cap.

The mentoring process generally assumes that much of the work done with other clients in the initial coaching months will be unnecessary. A large number of clients ready for Mentor Coaching have been through the coaching process themselves, and some have already been coaching others.

Many Mentor Coaches focus on practice-building only once a client has reached the developmental stage where coaching skills are firmly established.  I take a broader view of the mentoring process.

Since coaching skills can’t be worked on effectively until personal skills have been mastered, a great many coaches usually have more personal development “in their pockets” than the general population, years before they begin to explore the idea of coach training.

Even so, personal development is not a linear process, and my mentoring philosophy recognizes and honors that fact.  Whenever either one of us identifies an area that needs work before you can expect to actuate a practice goal, that’s where we work WHILE we are taking “preparation” steps in the practice arena.

Three Steps Ahead

The Coaching field has discovered that, except for highly-experienced coaches, the coach/client fit usually works best when the Coach is about three developmental steps ahead of the client.

  • Too far ahead, the Coach may overlook the subtle signs of what is missing. In the same way it is difficult for a Ph.D. in mathematics to tutor a student in Algebra I, it’s easy to forget to look first at basic skills before diving into higher-level explanations.
  • Certified Mentor Coaches [CMC] have advanced training in listening for the developmental level of their clients before jumping in.
  • Not far enough ahead, and your client is likely to lose confidence in your ability to lead them where they want to go.  Ironically, the better you coach them, the faster they are likely to leave you.  Coaches who stop growing personally while they focus on their clients’ growth manifest a practice that seems to be “stuck” in the non-stop marketing phase which, otherwise, is generally a phase you can expect to pass through relatively quickly.
  • Not only does Mentor Coaching help you keep growing as you assist your client in that manner, but the “just in time learning” also  prioritizes your growth, and compensates for missing coaching skills as you work to acquire them.
  • In a way, Mentor Coaching is like a lending library of skills: you’ve got back up!


Brain-based Approaches and ADD/EFD Skills

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating as often as I can work it in:

ADD Coaching is much more than ADD/EFD icing on a Vanilla cake.

White cake with white icing (and a cherry on top!)

In my experience, unless you, as a coach, understand how the neurotypical (vanilla) brain is designed to work (and can recognize what it looks like functionally when it doesn’t!), your coaching will never be as effective as it could be — and there is a good possibility that it won’t be effective at all.

That is true, in my opinion, with ANY client, but you can bank on it if your client has ADD or any type of the Executive Functioning struggles.

  • For those of you who have a great deal of what I call “vanilla” coach training (unflavored by ADD/EFD), who don’t want to enroll in yet another training to pick up the Brain-based skill-set, working with a mentor coach who has them is, pardon the expression, a no-brainer.
  • For those of you who were trained in ADD Coach Trainings that taught skills without the underlying rationale, you won’t believe the difference in your coaching once you begin to acquire Brain-based skills.
  • You can enroll in a class or work with a Mentor Coach to pick up those skills, but, in the very near future, you will have a tough time making a living in the ADD Coaching field if you don’t add them to your ADD/EFD Coaching Toolkit.

A quick litmus test

Have you ever hesitated to return a call or an email from a potential client, waiting until you were centered and ready to respond in a way that shows you in your best light?  That’s not a bad idea, by the way, but let me ask you a few questions about how that technique works for YOU:

  1. How long (and how comfortably) did you wait?  Did it start to look more like procrastination or downright avoidance than an exercise in centering?
  2. If you are an ADD/EFD ADDCoach, were you able to get back on the horse, or did you get stuck in the transition, finding it difficult to decide when and how to proceed?

For THOSE factors, and a whole lot more, it might be a good time to check out mentor coaching with a Certified Mentor Coach – like me! 

Don’t wait any longer — click the e-me option on the far right side of the darker of the two menu-bars at the top of the site, then check either of the mentor coaching interest options, and submit it. I’ll get back to you to see what you need and how I can help.

I have all sorts of formats — I’m sure I can help you find one that is a great fit for your budget as well as your practice goals.

Related Articles in the Mentor Coaching series:


About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: