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Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

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1 What makes a good mentor or coach?

A hand adds a fifth yellow start to a row of stars.
Figure 1 Five star support

You’ll start this week by considering your own views about what makes a good mentor or coach.

Activity 1 What makes a good mentor or coach?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Start by choosing whether to focus on a mentor or coach. Base this decision on the role that interests you the most or that you feel more familiar with.

In the box below, list the skills and qualities that you think a good mentor or coach should demonstrate.

Why do you think these skills and qualities are important?

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Even if you have never been mentored or coached formally yourself, you can have an opinion on the kind of support you’d like to receive. Were the skills you listed more aligned to personality, for example, friendly, open, easy to talk to, good listener, or were you more focused on what you need to help you to progress, for example, knowledge, influence, challenging questions etc.?

Read on to find out what business professionals and other commentators think are the essentials.