Last weekend I was back in Loughborough at the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) headquarters for a very full and rewarding Mentoring Development Programme to become a mentor to other tri coaches.

Being a reflective sort (more of which a little later), its taken me almost a whole week to absorb some of the great lessons and be ready to share some insights – though in truth I’ve also been immersed in a very full week of really enjoyable one to one and Club coaching.

On the Programme we had a great selection of senior coaches from across the UK, plus two guests Zita and Thanos from the ITU and members of BTF, all with great inputs and contributions to make.  We were led through the weekend by exemplary tutors Chris Roberts and Rob Griffiths – big thanks to both.

As you’d expect, there were lots of models and modelling: theoretical frameworks and tools to engage with and then practise on each other.  And so much to learn from each others’ experiences in the coaching world.

I found the whole experience elevating – lifting me up and helping me be that much clearer about what I value in coaching and in my contacts with others.  Unsurprisingly this was one of the key points of the Programme: that really effective mentoring starts with self-awareness, then a desire and ability to empathise and understand where others are coming from, to work with emotions and only then help, support and guide.  I’m also lucky in having a BTF mentor who does exactly this.

For me it was also very revealing and challenging.  Some of the models and approaches were familiar as I’d been steeped in Personal Effectiveness Programmes and the like in my former career.  How disarming and refreshing to come back to some of the models – dare I say it even Myers Briggs – that I knew from a work environment to now one where all my focus is on helping people realise their personal ambitions.  There were also new takes on things presented on the Level 3 that I could be so much more open to and gain from – thanks Chris! 

The Programme couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m planning on stepping back from quite as much involvement in Club coaching so as to be able to concentrate on my forthcoming Confidence Centred Coaching (new web site to be launched soon) and working with a much wider range of coaches.

Once again – big thanks to Chris and Rob and everyone on the programme.  I feel elevated.