“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”
Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring
At BiosReady, preparing Person Centered Thinking Mentor trainers is one of our favorite tasks. By training mentor trainers, we have the chance to share what we’ve learned from over 26 years of supporting people with disabilities and shepherding our own organization toward becoming a Person Centered Organization.
For our purposes, we define a mentor as an experienced guide for a professional journey. Mentors have “been there; done that” and achieved proficiency and influence in person centered thinking. To determine if you are ready to embark on the PCT Mentor Certification journey, consider these questions.
Have your experiences prepared you to provide guidance from a place of empathy—a true understanding of the journey potential mentees are likely to walk? Considering this question requires significant personal reflection regarding your ability to hold high standards while providing compassionate support.
Are you well-positioned to provide an organizational structure to simplify the learning process?
Have you made lots of mistakes, learned from those mistakes and become good at using your mistakes to help others learn? Experienced trainers have made lots of mistakes and had lots of successes that led to lots of learning.
Have you met the criteria established by the Learning Community for Person Centered Practices?
Individual growth and personal empowerment are desired outcomes of high-quality mentorship. Mentors challenge their mentees to stretch and grow in an emotionally safe environment; they ask hard questions and challenge with new experiences while providing encouragement and direction.
In your mentorship, you will be a trainer, a guide and a coach. Trainers assist with skill development. As a trainer, you will help your trainer candidates learn the skills they need to be good mentors and trainers. Training skills is about understanding the skill you are training on a deep level, understanding how to teach the skills in a variety of modalities, recognizing which modalities resonate with your mentees and being a good model of the skills, you are teaching.
As a guide, you recognize that you are supporting another person’s journey. You share the “map,” instruct on the logistics and leverage your own experiences to boost the progress of your mentees on their journeys toward certification.
As a coach, you observe, provide feedback, modify your approaches and supports as needed to increase the likelihood of your mentees’ success.
Robert Frost once quipped, “ I am not a teacher. I am an awakener.” We embark on the journey of learning to mentor, so we, too, can become awakeners.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a mentor trainer, contact Lori Hauge.