Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

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Exploring career mentoring and coaching

2 Building rapport and trust

Described image
Figure 2 Building trust

Rapport and trust are important elements of a mentoring or coaching relationship.

Activity 2 demonstrates how a coach or mentor might build rapport with their client.

Activity 2 Good rapport vs bad rapport

Allow about 15 minutes

Watch this video, taken from the OpenLearn course, Three principles of a coaching approach [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . It demonstrates ineffective rapport building between a coach and their client.

Download this video clip.Video player: bg023_2015e_vid012-320x176.mp4
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Transcript

NARRATOR
In this example of bad rapport, keep an eye out for mismatches. For example, a posture, gesture, and facial expression. Also, look out for vocal mismatches around volume and tone. Finally, keep an eye out for mismatches of energy and pace.

[KNOCKING]

JANE
Hi, Tim.
TIM
Hi, Jane.
JANE
Take a seat. Won't be a second. I've just got to finish this off.
TIM
Thanks, for sparing time. I know you're very busy.
JANE
Yeah, not a problem. I know we are very busy at the moment. There's quite a few deadlines that we need to make sure we hit. OK. Great. So what is it you wanted to talk about today?
TIM
So we arranged to spend some time today talking about my career progression.
JANE
Oh, yes. Yes. And just to let you know, Tim, that I am expecting a call. I just need to let them know that I can't talk to them right now, if that happens, OK? Just to let you know that, if they do call me.
TIM
Yeah, OK. Well, thank you.
JANE
Yeah. I've just got it on vibrate.
TIM
OK. OK. So as you know, as you're all too aware, probably, I didn't get that promotion. And we were going to have a conversation just to look at what my other options might be. Obviously, I've been quite disappointed about it.

[PHONE VIBRATING]

JANE
Yeah, yeah. And also, I guess there's other opportunities. One second. Yup? Yeah, look, I can't speak right now. I'm in a meeting. Yeah. Yeah, I've got Tim with me. Yeah. Yeah. I should be 20 minutes. Yeah. OK. Speak to you then. OK. Bye. Right. So you were saying, actually, that there's likely to be other opportunities because of this. So let's look on the positive side with that.
TIM
Yeah, well, I do want to be positive about it. I did think we had an hour actually. I thought we had an hour today.
JANE
Right. OK. Well, I know that we may well have said that, but I do have this other really important meeting. So I'm afraid it's 20 minutes. So hopefully we could make that useful.
TIM
OK. OK. Well, as I was saying, I'm disappointed. And I really would like to know from you what my other options might be.
JANE
I mean, I think I share your disappointment really, because, obviously, I did also support you in that. And I would've expected you to have succeeded. But let's not be too negative. Perhaps there's some other options in other teams that you might want to look at.
TIM
OK. In other teams?
JANE
Yes. I'm more than happy to explore that option with you if that's something that you'd like to talk about.
TIM
OK. So I wasn't aware that we might be talking about other teams. I thought maybe progression here with this team. This is the team that I like working with. I think I've done very well, albeit, obviously, I didn't get the interview.
JANE
Yeah.
TIM
OK.
JANE
Yeah. And I think that makes it very difficult, doesn't it? I mean, what do you want to do?
TIM
What I'd like to do is to find out what I can do, really, what will the next opportunity be for me to get a promotion, because I need to start earning some more money, to be honest.
JANE
Yes.
TIM
OK.
JANE
Yes, you do. So well, what are your thoughts? I have some thoughts. I think there's an element of training that we've missed. And certainly, I think that some of the courses that I've seen on the internet, I think, you would benefit from. So perhaps you should take a look at those. And maybe it would make it easier for you next time. We'd obviously have to have quite a few conversations about that, because, obviously, we don't want the same thing happening again.
TIM
Right. OK. So training.
JANE
Yeah, I think it's a good idea.
TIM
OK.
JANE
Good. OK. I guess that's our 20 minutes up. I know it's actually not quite 20 minutes, but if you've covered enough, then that would be great.
TIM
OK. So, yeah.
JANE
I can email you some of the courses that I think will be very useful for you. And you can let me know which ones that you would like to take the opportunity to go on.
TIM
Right. OK. So that's it?
JANE
Yes.
TIM
That's it then?
JANE
Yes.
TIM
OK. All right. Well, thanks.
JANE
Yeah. It was my pleasure. All right. Yup? Yes, that's fine. Yes, he's just leaving now. Yeah, OK. See you in two minutes. OK, great. Yup. Bye.
End transcript
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Use the space below to note what you observe about the coach’s behaviour, use of language and energy. How do they differ from those of the client?

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Now watch a second video and make the same observations.

Download this video clip.Video player: bg023_2015e_vid013-320x176.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

NARRATOR
In this example of good rapport, keep an eye out for matching behaviours. So, for example, look out for postural matching, gestural matching, and matching facial expressions. Also, listen out for vocal matching around volume and tone. Finally, keep an eye out for matches of energy and pace.
JANE
Hello, there, Tim. How are you?
TIM
Yeah, very well, thanks.
JANE
Good.
TIM
Thanks for giving this time.
JANE
Not a problem at all. Take a seat.
TIM
OK.
JANE
So what would you like to focus on today?
TIM
So I've got so much going on at the moment. Work is just fantastically busy. And I'm struggling actually to keep on top of it all and to keep my priorities straight. I'm loving it, but I'm a bit scared it's going to be too much.
JANE
OK. So it's fantastically busy at the moment. You're struggling a little bit, and you're just worried that you're going to keep on top of it. So what would you like to focus on in our session?
TIM
Yeah, so the focus for the session-- it would be good to see which bits I need to prioritise on, because, as I say, it's just so busy. And at the moment, I'm keeping on top of it, but I don't think my energy will last much longer. If I'm completely honest with you, I'm feeling a bit tired.
JANE
OK. So you're worried that your energy might not last at the moment. You're feeling tired.
TIM
Yeah.
JANE
So tell me what's going on at the moment.
TIM
So at the moment, as you know, I took on a new leadership role recently, and that's testing me. I was told I was lucky because I got to keep some of my old responsibilities as well. But it means that I feel like I'm being dragged from here to here continuously, and it's wearing.
JANE
So when you say you've been told that you've been lucky, and you raised your eyebrows and you shook your head to one side, what does that mean?
TIM
Well, I think that I'm not sure how lucky I am, to be honest. As I say, I do feel quite tired and quite stretched, quite exhilarated, but I'm going to have to focus quite tightly soon, or else my energy will dissipate.
JANE
OK.
TIM
Yeah.
End transcript
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Comment

In the second video, the behaviour, language and energy of the coach and client were much more aligned. It is an important part of the mentor or coach’s role to observe, listen and respond appropriately.

Try it yourself! When talking to a colleague or friend, try to pick on those nuances of mood, tone and energy, and notice how much easier it is to really listen to them and build a comfortable relationship.

In Activity 2, you observed the impact of mirroring and matching. Civico (2015) describes the four elements of mirroring and matching that make this such a powerful technique:

  1. Body postures and gestures – What posture is the person you are having a conversation with assuming? What is he or she doing with his or her arms and hands? Is the person leaning forward or backward? Observe, and then match the posture and gestures.
  2. The rhythm of the breath – Pay attention to how the other person is breathing, and then match the rhythm.
  3. The energy level – What is the energy level of the person you are talking to? Is he or she shy and reserved or exuberant and extroverted? If they are timid, it might be perceived as aggressive and invasive if you are exuberant.
  4. The tone of your voice – Notice the other person’s tone of voice. Is he or she talking softly, almost whispering? In that case, to build rapport, you need to mirror his or her tone of voice. Being loud will not establish a bond.
MC_1

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