At BYT HQ we’ve had a lot of conversations recently about the role of a coach and mentor in academia in comparison to that of a tutor. With competition for school and university places getting ever hotter and the on-going debate as to consistently shifting grade boundaries, the pressure is certainly on for students at all levels; whether facing 13+’s, GCSE’s, A Level’s or University Applications. It certainly feels that in the build up to exams there is not only knowledge intake and application to consider now but a students emotional landscape must be cared for too.
We came across a recent article in the Financial Times titled ‘Parents hire £200-an-hour confidence coaches for frazzled kids’, we wondered as to whether there might be a more constructive spin on this narrative. Sitting down with confidence coach and mentor Bella Mezger started to shine an interesting comparative light on the situation.
Bella is a coach and facilitator dedicated to enabling people to fulfill their potential and thrive in their personal lives, studies and careers. She is a learning and development, behavioral and culture change specialist by background, working in management consulting with Deloitte and Aviva for six years and advising some of the world’s largest corporations, She is known for her high quality, innovative and creative approach to problem solving and ability to build deep, trusting relationships. As an accredited Executive Coach Bella has experience across a variety of sectors from leading girl’s schools to international banks.
Hello world! Broadening horizons through coaching
By Bella Mezger
“Minds are like parachutes, they operate only when open” said Thomas Dewar back in the early 1900s. How true. And that’s exactly what coaching aims to do. In an environment of openness, and freedom, coaching enables individuals to better understand themselves, and to make decisions that positively impact their lives.
Coaching is an opportunity for young people to spend time with someone who listens attentively and asks incisive questions. It helps them to think through what’s on their minds and hearts, and make practical next steps. It’s about unlocking potential; looking forward; and making plans to enable individuals to achieve their goals and aspirations. The first step might even be working out what those aspirations are, and what success looks like for them.
All too often young people thinking for themselves is regarded with suspicion. It can be seen as dangerous or divisive. However, in reality when young people think for themselves, they astound, innovate, and generate insights and ways forward that will really work for them, and which are ultimately more successful and sustainable.
A great coach will create the conditions for young people to leave behind fear of reprisal, or what is ‘right’ or ‘good’ or ‘smart.’ They will view their coachee as responsible and naturally resourceful. This respectful, expectant attention of a coach often allows the young person to generate ideas and possibilities that they wouldn’t have thought of before.
The benefits of coaching are big. And big businesses and organisations are listening. One of the world’s largest management consulting firms is switching its performance management system from ‘ratings’ to a coaching approach, where each employee has their own coach.
Coaching can allow young people to:
Plan for the future, and next steps (eg. GCSE, A-Level, work and further education choices)
Develop self-esteem and confidence
Achieve a sense of purpose
Prepare for interviews
Build resilience and resourcefulness
Develop life skills to manage stress and take on interviews, exams and applications with a
PMA (positive mental attitude!)
Develop healthy strategies that will carry them beyond the school gates
My coaching practice was born out of a belief that if we allow people the opportunity to properly and truly think for themselves, wonderful things happen.
It’s amazing to see the world open up for individuals as they process, journey, and remove limiting assumptions that they have about themselves. I was recently coaching a 17-year- old whose confidence was at rock bottom. Working together on her body language, and seeing her whole being open up, the smile on her face, and the confidence that arose as she sat differently in front of me,was astounding and totally beautiful. And then we think about the next steps to move her towards feeling able to do that in the classroom, in interviews, or meeting with friends; and how committed she is to working on this.
You can get in touch with Bella directly below:
As always here at BYT we’d love to hear from you so don’t hesitate to get in touch!