Becoming a Better Mentor - Robin Waite

Last Updated: 

February 9, 2024

In this special episode of the Fearless Business Podcast, Robin tells coaches and mentors alike how they can improve their practices.

What we will be discussing today

  • Improving Your Coaching Practice
  • Separating Personal and Professional Relationships
  • NLP Techniques (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
  • Book Recommendations
  • Learning to Unwind
  • Using Your Own Methodology
  • How to Hire a Coach for Yourself
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Becoming a Better Mentor

In this special episode of the Fearless Business Podcast, Robin Waite tells coaches and mentors alike how they can improve their practices.

During the six years, he has worked as a Business Coach, Robin has constantly updated and improved his practices so that his clients can be taught by someone who’s on their best form. But his success hasn’t come without struggle. There have been times where he has had to face hard truths and restrategise to keep his business from going under. Through learning these lessons, Robin has formulated three top tips to help listeners looking to improve their coaching / mentoring skills - which he'll be sharing today.

1. Emotionally Detach Yourself From Every Client Outcome

Robin’s recommendation would be to make sure that you have emotionally detached yourself from every client outcome. Of course, business coaching is an excellent job for socialisation, networking and building professional relationships. However, the connections you have with clients must stay professional. As a business coach, you are here to guide your clients through their entrepreneurial journey and help improve their business. You are not their friend.

There are many downsides to being friendly with clients. At first, it may seem easier to communicate with them as you have built such an open relationship; however, with this comes the danger of treading on eggshells. You may have gotten attached to a client so much that you can’t give your client the honest truth in fear of upsetting them.

Fundamentally, a business coach is meant to be someone who is not afraid to speak their mind. In addition, you have been given the responsibility of improving someone’s business, which will undoubtedly come with having hard conversations, especially when it involves money. Ultimately, you can’t be too sensitive when providing feedback as your client won’t improve, which completely undermines everything you do.

They may also hold you more accountable if things don’t go to plan. When coaching a client, we know that their results are entirely reliant on the amount of effort and dedication they put in. Many coaches have all had those moments where they had to let a client go because they weren’t putting in the work required to improve their business or they’ve turned round claimed they’ve sold them a lie. If you’ve built a friendship with them, you may be too emotionally invested to hold your ground and speak your truth if they decide to pull a fast one on you. Don’t put yourself in a position where you may come across as vulnerable or easily manipulated.

2. Learn New Techniques

Robin’s next tip would be to learn new techniques to incorporate into your coaching practice. His personal favourites include:

  • The Grow Model
  • NLP Techniques
  • Reading The Prosperous Coach and The Work
  • Incorporating Your Own Coaching Techniques

The Grow Model

The grow model is simple. When coaching a client, start by asking what their ultimate goal is, help them outline an objective they should be working towards and the outcome they’d like to see. Next, you get them to look at their current reality. What is it that they are doing currently that’s working well for them? Where could they improve? This then helps your clients onto the following step, establishing their options. Here, you highlight the many routes your client can take to achieve their goal and emphasise the pros and cons of each option. Finally, you move onto their will. What is your client willing to do to achieve their goal? Get them to write down or go through the actions they are going to take. Then, come up with backup plans in case those actions don’t work.

NLP Techniques

Now onto NLP techniques; if you don’t know what they are, NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a methodology for understanding how our thoughts affect our behaviour. Robin’s favourite to use when coaching is the ‘modelling’ technique. This is similar to that of the law of attraction, in that whatever you decide to focus upon, you move towards. It is all about surrounding yourself with high achievers and modelling yourself based on your idols. Robin’s best advice for putting this into practice is to invest in a coach yourself. This way, you actively have someone in your life to look up to, and they can pass down information that you can utilise with your clients for your own benefit. Another good idea is to read up on the works of your idols; Robin’s are Rich Litvin and Byron Katie.

Incorporating Your Own Techniques

If you’re a business coach yourself, why not try incorporating your own methodology. As a business coach who helps business coaches and consultants, Robin always includes his own practices within his work. For example, his whole bag is about being fearless and confident, which helps his clients to confidently charge their worth. Not only does he involve this when it comes to deciding his own pricing, he includes it when it comes to mindset. If he goes up to his office and knows that he not feeling 100% himself that day, he decides against it. Robin claims that business owners won’t be giving clients the service they deserve if they are not on their A-Game Sometimes, life’s about having the confidence to say no and setting boundaries. If you power through the day, despite knowing that you have reached your limit, this will increase the chances of burnout and will be incredibly detrimental to your performance as a business coach.

3. Be Sure to Have an Oxygen Mask

Be sure to have an oxygen mask. No, Robin doesn’t mean this literally. It’s his way of saying that you should know when to take time for yourself and have a breather!

Being a coach requires you to have a massive social battery. Robin’s professional life involves him speaking, coaching clients, employees, guesting at events and hosting a podcast which, as much as he enjoys it, does take its toll on him by the time I’m finished. Besides being a business coach, Robin’s also a father and a husband, meaning he has to be for his family once the working day is over.

This is where Robin’s earlier point about setting boundaries stands. A tip for you that Robin practices routinely is to set yourself a curfew on social media and work emails. For example, every night at 7 pm, Robin decides to leave his phone on the counter; he never takes it to bed with him. This gives Robin a chance to unwind from the day fully and not have his brain dwell on whatever has happened at work that day. Because he doesn’t take his phone to bed, he also sleeps better. He doesn’t wake up and check his phone like the morning paper, nor does he wake up worrying about anything work-related. At the end of the day, life’s too short. There’s no point in worrying about something that can be sorted the next day.

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