July 4, 2024

New Series for Mentors/Supervisors!

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Evaluating Process: 

Analysing mentoring for effectiveness and adjusting for greater positive outcomes.

It is important to continually analyse and adjust your own mentoring methods, not just assume that you are being effective. You should apply assessments, self-reflection, and the assistance of outside perspectives and wisdom to discover what is working and what needs adjusting, your strengths and weaknesses.

An important question to ask is, what is your client seeking to gain? Possibly, your mentee has the desire and capability to become a mentor. I like to keep my eye out for clients who may make wonderful mentors or supervisors themselves, like disciples looking to disciple others. Can we add one more healthy person to our ranks to help others become healthy?

Analysing and Reflecting on Mentoring/Supervising Sessions

Have you ever found yourself poorly prepared for a session with a client? Perhaps your client is excited to share an update on a current situation, and you struggle to recall certain details, or your client is unusually withholding and uncertain why their attitude is so different. I have found that taking time before a session to review notes and after a session for reflection prepares and composes me for whatever the client might bring to the session. 

It can be tempting to rush from one event in life to another when feeling pressed for time, but taking fifteen minutes before a session to get your head in the right space, recall where you left off, and reflect on the activities and dynamics of recent sessions will make you a better mentor/supervisor and support the transformation process for the client.

Immediately afterwards, answer these basic questions and take notes: How was today? How did it work? Was it effective?

You should always consider the dynamics between yourself and your client. Some common dynamics to look for are: 

  • Transference occurs when a client redirects emotions from their past experiences and puts them onto you. For example, you might be filling the role of an authority figure in their minds, reminding them of a parent or teacher. This can bring forward old resentments or make them feel an unhealthy need to please you. 
  • Countertransference: when you are putting an emotion from your past experience onto them. Certain clients may remind you of others in your life, bringing up old feelings. For example, you may feel overly protective of their feelings. Ask yourself, Did I redirect emotions that I felt in another relationship?
  • Triangulation occurs when a client tries to portray himself as a victim or a hero by pitting himself against someone else and urging you to be on their side. Often, the impulse is subconscious, but ask yourself: Are they being truthful? Our role is not to take sides or to collude but to process what is happening for them and help them see the next steps, including conversations to have. 

Consider the spiritual elements of the session: Where was God’s presence in the conversation? In my questions? In their answers? Was I listening to God as well as my client? 

Pay attention to outside factors: How was the chosen venue? Were there distractions at the cafe or were there connection issues over Zoom? What about the time you chose to meet? Was your client arriving overwhelmed and distracted from work? Do they have an event to go to afterwards? Would they benefit from choosing a time when they can process the session afterwards as well? 

I always like to come back to the big questions: 

  • What am I seeing? 
  • What am I feeling and why am I feeling that way? 
  • What steps do I need to take to deal with this? 
  • Am I the right person to handle this? Am I capable? 
  • Who can I speak to if I am feeling uncertain? 
  • Who can I direct them to if they need more specific help? 
  • Is there any danger here (to me, to the client, to those around us)? 

What’s Next: Who can help you build self-reflection? Can we help?

Continue reading with these articles…

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