A Coach, Mentor, or Systems-Value Mentor?
Although they have a different flavor, there is no sharp line dividing coaching and mentoring. We embrace the fuzziness and can offer both, for individual seekers and as part of our safety-net for the Courageous Conversations community.
“A coach shines a light into your blind spots and invites your soul to shine…”
A coach works from the in-side-out: he or she helps you become more aware of your individual issues, values, goals, choices…. A coach does not provide you with advice or answers, but assists you in defining and refining your questions, elicits your inner wisdom and resources, challenges your assumptions, shines a light into your blind spots, mirrors your insights and potentials, and much more… A coach provides you with a safe space to feel your feelings, to invite your soul to shine, to hear your deepest calling…
“A mentor offers directions based on having travelled similar journeys before…”
A mentor works from the out-side-in: he or she has knowledge and experience in the field that you wish to explore, has ‘been there, done that, and learned from it’, knows the ins-and-outs and potential pitfalls to try to avoid. A mentor can help you assess your situation and guide you in discerning where you are and where to go from there. A mentor offers you directions, tools and resources that suit your capabilities in your specific context, while respecting your agency and choices.
We also offer a third option – systems mentor.
A systems-value mentor offers a deeper systemic perspective to both challenge you (and your team or project) and hold and encourage you as you reframe direction and priorities in a more holistic collapse-aware systems-ethical, whole-systems value creation context
A systems-value mentor listens to you and situates you in deep systems context: they understand and support your position, on your terms, and empathise with you on the personal costs involved in altering your position.
They will not collude with you in trying to avoid the non-negotiability of biophysical realities; they are not someone who is ‘good company for the wrong journey’; and they are not there to help you ‘do the wrong things righter’ — when science tells us how urgently we must enable systemic transformation, greenwashing and incrementalism are deadly.
They can see and hold multiple perspectives simultaneously. They will probe to understand your systems-context and provide a safe-enough space to explore and live the questions with you, your team, or your project, while illuminating you in a deeply collapse-aware systems context. They will listen deeply, and challenge you with honest, interactive and revealing systems-ethical insights around your individual and collective priorities and direction in these times.
At larger fractal scales, beyond personal coaching and mentoring, systems-value mentoring tends toward Systems Facilitation and Synthesis or Whole Systems Design.