Reflection Assignment On Mentoring & Coaching Experiences
You are required to write a reflection assignment on the experience of your role as mentor, coach, observer or employee. In writing up your experience of these coaching and mentoring experiences you should reflect on:
- What happened in the interaction, including what aspects went well and what needed improvement,
- How relevant theoretical reading or research you have done applies to the situation,
- What you learned or gained from the experience,
- Practical actions you could take to improve your approach in the future based on your reading, reflection, experience and observation.
Coaching and mentoring are regarded as two essential activities in any organization owing to the enormous high market competition. This assignment consists of three reflections on these areas and their implications on professional abilities. The purpose is to understand the basic concepts, the differences and what processes should a business consider developing effective coaches and mentors.
This is a reflective analysis of my experiences of mentoring. From my knowledge of mentoring, I knew that it is a leadership development tool that brings more opportunities for career progression (Lamm, Sapp & Lamm, 2017). It is most effective when it relates to the development of competencies to the basic needs of strategic business. My goal was to reduce the extra kilos that have been a huge botheration to me. Hence, I joined an online local fitness centre and shared my requirements with them. I was put under a trainer who not only guided me for my weight loss program but also appeared to be a supportive weight loss mentor. From the very beginning of my interaction with him, he has been a supportive guide who believed in me and worked alongside to ensure that I accomplished my goals comfortably. Since my goal was to lose weight, I needed a kind of mentorship who would guide me as per my convenience and not someone who would criticize me for my improper habits that resulted in weight gain. Every time I interacted with my mentor, he supported me to confront the truth behind my weight increase. After interacting with me for the first few days, he discussed my earlier weight loss agenda and exercise log. He set a target weight for me to be achieved within a given time period. Thereafter, he prepared a moderate diet plan and physical training schedule specifically for me. What went well was that he chose to prepare a simplified diet plan which would not be too harsh for me. Often nutritionists or dieticians provide strict diet plans which become difficult to follow with tight professional schedules. He mentioned that skipping meals especially breakfast is considered to be a potential determinant of overweight and obesity (Ma et al. 2020, p.2). However, my diet chart consisted of the meals according to my convenient timings and hence I had to never skip any of my meals. Furthermore, in every interaction, he specified the alarming consequences of overweight and the risks associated at a later point in life. Obesity increases the likelihood of risk factors that lead to diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and many more (Jirapinyo, Haasand Thompson2018, p.1107).Also, he motivated me to identify my triggers that result in poor choices of food.
Apart from the positive aspects, what required improvement was his time-schedule. He is a very devoted professional and hence at times, I used to feel a little over-burdened with his individualized workout plans for me. Most of his fitness schedules were conducted online. From theoretical readings, I learned about how mentors help to highlight issues and guide the mentees in developing a plan to mitigate them. This is relatable to my experience with my mentor. In his initial sessions, he identified issues like portion controlling, striking a balance between home-made food and takeaways, and mentioned that I need to cut down on my junk cravings in order to normalize my appetite. Secondly, I learned that a mentor develops partnerships and provides flexibility so that the mentee can discuss his progress freely. I have been very consistent with my developmental updates to him. As a mentee, my sole objective is to follow the proper guidance that would help me to reach my clarified goals effectively. My mentor also provided me with constructive criticisms that enormously helped me to get the motivation to work harder towards my goal. I gained substantial knowledge from this experience that would shape my professional boundaries better. From these experiences, I learned that consultation, counseling, and cheering are the three basic rules of effective mentoring.
The practical actions that I can take from this experience and readings are that if I have to mentor anyone, I must develop a cordial association at first and try to motivate my mentee so that he counts on me. I must be empathetic and show interest in my mentee's issues and reserve unnecessary judgments.
I should talk about mine; In the second assignment my goal was to get 8 bands In IELTS out of 9, its English learners’ exam
This reflection discusses my experience of coaching during the IELTS English examination.Coaching is an effective approach that categorically intends to facilitate improved performance in any aspect of life and at any given time (Delmondesand Afonso2018, p.2). There are some basic differences between teaching someone and aiding the person to acquire thorough learning on something. In coaching, the coach fundamentally guides the learner to refine his own performance and aids them to learn. An effective coach believes that every learner has an answer ready to their own issues but realizes that he might require help to find that particular answer.
In this context, my experience of coaching came from my English coach for the IELTS examination. Unlike the standard English tests, IELTS is one of the highest stake’s English examinations particularly for international studies and work (Estajiand Ghiasvand2019). It examines the learners' ability and efficiency of the English language by means of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. I need thorough guidance to clear this test so that it opens multiple avenues for my future academic and professional career. I enrolled my name in an online class where I was supervised by an English coach. She took the sole responsibility of covering each of the four areas required for the IELTS exam to crack. My interaction with her allowed me to learn and expand my knowledge of multiple aspects of English literature. Initially, she coached me to develop a clear understanding of the exam format and its assessment criteria. She would give me study materials and discuss with me each part separately the next day. During the initial interactions, she helped to gain a thorough understanding of how to approach and where to begin from in the four different IELTS papers. Thereafter, she segregated the course materials based on my feasibility which was the best aspect of the session. I could learn one thing at a time and never had to go through a cumbersome learning process with so many new things coming together.Most of the interactions happened over videoconference in biweekly interactive sessions. I feel my learning would have been faster and improved if the time slots were a bit more frequent.
I could relate my experience to my theoretical understanding of coaching. A coach is committed to providing a novice learner with comprehensive guidance so that the overall learning is effective. My coach was extremely devoted to her responsibilities. Through classroom lectures, I learned about the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options, Will) that seeks answers through questions and not by advice. During my sessions, my coach never preferred giving instructions. She acted as a facilitator and asked realistic questions to integrate my learning schedule into distinct stages. She emphasized the relevance of a targeted goal that motivated me to push my limits and work harder to obtain eight out of nine bands in the exam. This experience helped me to gain adequate knowledge of the implications of coaching on a learners' career. I understood that coaching is not meant to being a subject expert; its focus is to help the learner slowly develop and unlock his own potential. I gained an understanding that an efficient coach has all the competence of being a successful professional leader. I realized that the effectiveness of coaching provides significant long-term benefits including confidence and strengthened identity (McGill, Clarke and Sheffield 2019, p.3).
Going forward, I intend to demonstrate good coaching skills and motivate people with the best of my theoretical knowledge and practical experiences. I want to encourage learners to have a planned way of developing knowledge that would also help me to acquire good leadership abilities for the future.
This reflection highlights the application of the ability to coach in the workplace. While I was doing my internship for a multinational organization, I demonstrated good coaching skills. In this reflection, I would outline the process and experiences that I had collectively gathered by applying effective coaching skills. During my tenure as an intern, I was instructed to manage a team of four people and conduct a management project efficiently after a period of one-month relentless training. From my personal experience of coaching during my IELTS exam preparation, I developed a stern understanding of the benefits and skills required to develop good coaching abilities. From there, I slowly enhanced my knowledge of coaching by indulging myself in extensive theoretical readings especially on workplace coaching skills and its implications. My team members were just like me doing an internship for that period; hence initially it was not easy to gain their confidence. But I took a diligent effort to interact with each one of them and assured them personalized development through the guiding session. I built a cordial and amicable professional relation that helped me to understand their views from the grass route level. Since one of the main targets was to complete the project within a strict deadline, I decided to divide the workload between them into two halves. If they form a pair of two and conduct the task, it was easier for me to coach them in such a short duration. This is how I managed the first step of coaching. Thereafter, I started explaining the relevance of each activity scheduled for the task. These teaching sessions helped me to develop a stronger connection with them where I identified their strengths and limitations and reallocated the work accordingly. My learning says that the main purpose of workplace coaching is to prepare competent and proficient employees (Peláez, Coo, and Salanova2019). Thus, as a coaching intern, my intent was not only to submit the project faster but also to primarily ensure that they are learning their tasks properly. I believed that if the management had provided me with this opportunity during my internship, they must have seen some potential. Therefore, I kept working towards the project to develop my skills and abilities more effectively. I used to keep asking them questions to make sure they understand and answer them based on their ideas of management. This has improved them as learners.
I understood that workplace competition increases rapidly. Hence in order to maintain consistency and productivity, it is important for the workers to demonstrate great efficiency (Breda, Brysonand Forth2019, p.2). In the project, we faced numerous criticalities. Since I was also in the same learning phase, it was not such an easy task to coach others and obtain rapid success. Therefore, I began towards it by observing the team members and providing an objective perspective on the areas that had been working and the ones that required more attention. I had learned these skills from literature mining and my own experience with my IELTS coach.
I remember an incident where in the middle of our activity, one of the members was consistently exhibiting poor performance. As a coach, I motivated him to adapt to the changing environment and take one task at a time. Seeing him perform better after a few days gave me a sense of self-reliance. Besides, I welcomed each of their opinions and viewpoints so that I can include their ideas in the project and make them feel valued. This is how I fostered a supportive and learning atmosphere. While they were stuck at problems, I was there at all times with a helpful attitude that developed our personal connections. I tried to guide them as a companion and never desired for control. Lastly, I was always positive about receiving feedback and believed that with the zeal power an individual can learn and change many aspects of professional life over time.
Breda, T., Bryson, A. and Forth, J., 2019,“Productivity Dynamics: The Role of Competition in a Service Industry.”, pp. 1-45. Available at: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3495786.
Delmondes, P. and Afonso, W., 2018,“Importance of coaching and mentoring tools for training business leaders.”, pp1-4. Available at: https://sciforum.net/manuscripts/5113/slides.pdf.
Estaji, M. and Ghiasvand, F., 2019. The Washback Effect of IELTS Examination on EFL Teachers’ Perceived Sense of Professional Identity: Does IELTS Related Experience Make a Difference?. Journal of Modern Research in English Language Studies, 6(3), pp.103-83. Available at: http://jmrels.journals.ikiu.ac.ir/article_1753.html.
Jirapinyo, P., Haas, A.V. and Thompson, C.C., 2018, “Effect of the duodenal-jejunal bypass liner on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes with obesity: a meta-analysis with secondary analysis on weight loss and hormonal changes.” Diabetes Care, 41(5), pp.1106-1115. Available at: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/5/1106.abstract.
Lamm, K.W., Sapp, R. and Lamm, A.J., 2017. The Mentoring Experience: Leadership Development Program Perspectives. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(2), pp.20-34. Available at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1163616.
Ma, X., Chen, Q., Pu, Y., Guo, M., Jiang, Z., Huang, W., Long, Y. and Xu, Y., 2020,“Skipping breakfast is associated with overweight and obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 14(1), pp.1-8. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871403X19305472.
McGill, P., Clarke, P. and Sheffield, D., 2019. From" blind elation" to" oh my goodness, what have I gotten into"... Exploring the experience of executive coaching during leadership transitions into C-suite roles. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring, 17(1), 3-18. Available at: https://researchportal.coachfederation.org/Document/Pdf/3397.pdf.
Peláez, M.J., Coo, C. and Salanova, M., 2019, “Facilitating work engagement and performance through strengths-based micro-coaching: a controlled trial study.” Journal of Happiness Studies, pp.1-20. Available at: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10902-019-00127-5.pdf.