The following seven core Mentoring Competency Categories were developed to promote an understanding of the skills and approaches that the IIC&M has determined as being desirable in a competent Mentor.

The competencies listed under each heading are essential for any competent Mentor to demonstrate and form the basis of the criteria used in the IIC&M’s accreditation process.

mentoring competencies

Competency Number 1
Presenting a Professional Image in each session

  1. Understands and adheres to the Standards and Ethics as set out by the IIC&M including Client Care, Personal Professional Conduct, and Professional Relationships.
  2. Understands and demonstrates the Key Values exhibited by an IIC&M Mentor.
  3. Explores with the Client what the agenda for the session should be and establishes clear agreements that fits with the overall goal.
  4. Determines if there is an effective match between his/her mentoring ability and the needs of the Client.
  5. Reflecting on the Client’s needs for each session, in the moment chooses the most effective approach.
  6. Clearly explains the purposes of techniques and/or exercises.
  7. Moves back and forth between where the Client is now and where the Client wishes to go.
  8. Demonstrates and maintains confidence throughout the Mentoring session.
  9. Is sensitive as a Mentor to ‘not knowing’ and taking risks.
  10. Demonstrates respect for the Client’s learning style, goals, ideas, actions, perceptions, beliefs, fears and general ability to participate in the elements of their niche market. i.e. run a business, mentor a student, professional development, business development and growth.
  11. Manages the time well in the session, ensuring that a positive outcome for the session is achieved, noted and followed up.
  12. Ensures that the client remains independent of the Mentor i.e. does not become reliant on the Mentor.

Competency Number 2
Creating a safe environment for the Mentoring Relationship

  1. Creates an environment in which both the Mentor and Client build trust and respect for the mentoring relationship.
  2. Shows respect for Client by not judging their words, thoughts and actions.
  3. Responds to a Client’s emotions with empathy, without personally becoming involved.  At the end of the mentoring session the client is in a calm emotional state.
  4. Shows genuine concern for the Client’s well-being and future.
  5. Removes any judgements of the Client when they surface in order to be completely objective and compassionate in the mentoring process.
  6. Holds only constructive thoughts, words and actions of the Client during the entire relationship, unless otherwise deemed absolutely detrimental for the clients utmost  wellbeing.
  7. During the session the Mentor should  draw on experience to aid the Client’s status. In addition, it allows the Client to freely explore capitalizing on the experience of the mentor.
  8. Creates a positive enjoyable experience for the Client.
  9. Allows the Client to choose their own pace of accomplishments.
  10. Is not attached to the outcomes.
    However an experienced mentor should show continued interest in a client whether this may be in any stretch of time.
  11. Treats the Client as an equal partner in the Mentoring journey.

Competency Number 3
Questioning Skills

  1. Primarily uses open questions, avoids using leading, multiple or confusing questions.
  2. Questions should be posed in a forth and upcoming manner derived from training in the appropriate form.
  3. Uses powerful and incisive questions that challenge or promote clarity, discovery or learning.
  4. Asks questions that demonstrate active listening and an understanding of the Client’s perspective, beliefs, personal strengths and abilities.
  5. Asks questions that are able to be clearly understood and that move the Client forward towards a decision best for their business.
  6. Uses questioning techniques that respectfully keep the Client focused on the challenge or goal for each session.
  7. Provides an inquisitive environment, which transcends the Client’s fears, roadblocks, un-constructive feelings and behavior patterns related to the challenge or goal.
  8. Asks questions which allow the Client to self-discover options and innovative solutions through exploration of multiple facets of the challenge or goal.
  9. Uses a style of communication that is open, flexible and confident.
  10. Asks questions which allow the Client to uncover the unknown in order to increase awareness.

Competency Number 4
Effective Communication

  1. Demonstrates effective listening, questioning and clarifying skills; notices the difference between what is said and what is left unsaid.
  2. Uses honest, direct, easy-to-understand language that enables the Client to move towards the agreed outcomes.
  3. Uses courteous communication which is friendly, open, confident and flexible; no hidden agenda or passive-aggressive tones.
  4. Adapts communication/language style to reflect the Client’s needs and outcomes.
  5. Adapts communication/language style in recognition of the Client’s personality preferences.
  6. Uses the Client’s language to create broad and meaningful conversations.
  7. Provides relevant feedback and information to support the Client’s needs and outcomes.
  8. Communicates clearly, confidently and credibly with the Client.
  9. Encourages Client’s to share their views; takes time to understand and consider these views.
  10. Manages emotions in an intelligent manner, which does not impact on the Client in a negative way.
  11. Is comfortable in exploring emotions with the Client in a non-threatening manner.
  12. Uses intuition to engage Client’s to consider what is not being said.
  13. Recognises and effectively manages transference, counter-transference and/or projection.
  14. Allows the communication between Mentor and Client to flow; does not interrupt, lead, suggest or make assumptions.
  15. Demonstrates the use of effective body language (where appropriate).

Competency Number 5
Listening Skills

  1. Active listening (focuses completely on what the Client is saying as well as listening for what is not being said).
  2. Demonstrates use of silence allowing the Client space to think and to finish what they are saying i.e. not interrupting the Client.
  3. Pays attention to the Client’s words, tone of voice, and body language (where possible).
  4. Accurately summarises, paraphrases and/or mirrors back what the Client has said to ensure clarity and understanding.
  5. Understands and accurately evaluates information, and reflects back interpretations that help the Client to gain awareness.

Competency Number 6
Facilitating Growth

  1. Helps the Client to discover their beliefs, personal strengths, and abilities.
  2. Helps the Client to discover the beliefs, personal strengths, and abilities in relation to their niche i.e. those of the business as an entity.
  3. Eases awareness for the Client e.g. their own perceptions, the differences between fact and their interpretation of events that have led them to this point.
  4. Helps the Client to discover where there are interrelated factors that affect their actions and their behaviour in the past and lessons learnt to apply to future plans.
  5. Challenges the Client to promote clarification, gain understanding, provoke new ideas and improve their performance and where appropriate, that of their team.
  6. Invites the Client to acknowledge and recognise their own successes and realisations/learnings.
  7. Encourages the Client to come up with his or her own options and solutions.
  8. For liability and accountability purposes the Mentor may ask the Client if they require additional input from the Mentor.
  9. Encourages the Client to stretch and challenge him/herself to a level that is appropriate for them at any given point in time appropriate to the mentoring niche being advised.
  10. Encourages the Client to use their strengths and internal and external resources to achieve their desired goals.

Competency Number 7
Planning and Accountability

  1. Supports and challenges during the planning stage.
  2. Provides the Client with the opportunity to plan with guidance from the Mentor.
  3. Where appropriate, reminds the Client about major insights, patterns, solutions and ideas that were generated throughout the session.
  4. Where appropriate, helps the Client to create and implement a plan with results that are:
    Specific,
    Measurable,
    Attainable,
    Realistic,
    Timeframed,
    and adjust this where necessary.
  5. Encourages a Client’s self-discipline, responsibility and accountability for what they say they are going to do, as well as help them define an accountability measure for them.
  6. Keeps the Client focused and on track by reviewing progress, holding attention on the goal for the session and the desired outcome, as well as agreed-upon courses of action.
  7. When appropriate, asks the Client to provide results and to state how far they have come with the completion of their plan.
  8. In order to ensure forward movement, works with the Client to address and overcome any obstacles that are in the way of previously set goals and plans.
  9. Positively challenges the Client when he/she did not take agreed-upon actions.
  10. Acknowledges the Client’s successes, their realisations and learning.

Issue 2: July, 2013