Prior to starting Mento, I worked at Jigsaw, an Alphabet incubator developing tools to help activists, dissidents, and journalists be safer online in the world’s most repressive countries. I quickly found myself promoted to the C-Suite. It was equal parts exciting and frightening. I suddenly found myself in a leadership role having no clue what leadership even meant -- I’d never so much as been a manager before. I had questions! But had no idea who to ask.
Like so many other women and underrepresented groups working in tech, I never felt that I had a tried and true mentor that I could turn to for advice and support. My new manager at the time had just gotten an executive coach. I had no idea what that was, but I asked for one, and it completely changed my career and my life. Through my network, I was able to find an incredible coach who specialized in working with female founders and executives. She was incredibly relatable on a personal level and professional level -- she had started businesses and held roles. I felt we’d be friends in real life.
Working with a coach who had been an operator and executive meant she had been through similar challenges before. She was able to coach me on not only leveling up into my new leadership and management role, but also improve my relationship with my work, faster. It expanded my perspective, pushed me to think differently, and felt confident, happier, and less stressed.She transformed my career -- and my life.
I felt I had discovered the secret power of coaching and I wanted everyone to have access to this kind of coaching-mentorship relationship, too. I discovered that this type of coach-mentor relationship is hard to find, so we set out to create it ourselves at Mento.
We’re on a mission to help everyone live healthier and happier lives personally and professionally.
In pursuit of our mission, we’ve developed a new approach to coaching informed by my experience with my coach-mentor and the help of organizational psychologists, industry leading experts and ICF certified coaches. We call it the 80/20 rule, utilizing 80% traditional coaching practices and 20% hands on advisory or mentorship.
When we think of coaching, we adapt Tim Galway’s “inner game approach” which can be summarized as a simple formula: Performance = Potential - Interference.
Let’s break that down with the help of our Head of Coaching, Tara Padua.
“Performance is the desired outcome you’re hoping to achieve - developing a new skill, securing a promotion or raising your next round of funding, to name a few. To drive that outcome, you need to grow your potential and reduce your interference. Potential can be thought of as your natural strengths and current capabilities. Interference is really your internal interference, or your mindset, beliefs and emotions that may inhibit your ability to reach your potential.”
A coach will work with you to help increase your potential and reduce interference so that you can feel and perform at your best, and reach your desired outcomes. In practice, coaches help increase potential by empowering you to better understand your current capabilities and lean into your natural strengths, some of which you might not know you have. They will help you reduce internal interference by asking thoughtful questions and serving as a neutral, third-party sounding board, helping you to identify areas internally that interfere with your ability to reach your potential. Through this work, you’ll develop your self-awareness and an internal feedback loop that ultimately drives you to feel and perform better.
To facilitate our unique 80/20 approach to coaching, we hire exceptional operators who work at today’s top companies. This enables us to pair our members with a coach who knows their role and the challenges associated with it, empowering them with hands-on guidance to help actively problem solve our member’s most difficult challenges, because our coaches have been through them before. Mento coaches can help our members grow their potential, faster, leading to better performance.
This 80/20 approach empowers our members to see a 2x increase in performance on average.
Our approach to the 80/20 rule can be visualized using a 2x2 measuring experience and commitment. Experience considers how much experience someone has and their ability to hit their goals. Commitment considers someone’s commitment and motivation to pursue their goals.
We ask thoughtful questions to assess where our members are on their journey, then apply the 80/20 rule to use the appropriate coaching practice to best support them, meeting them where they are so that we can help them get to where they want to go, faster.
We practice advisory coaching. We help members to develop self-awareness around the skills that they need to develop, and help them understand the “why” behind their lack of commitment by enabling them to think differently and sharing back what we’re hearing. When members are lacking the experience they need to succeed, Mento coaches can lean on their previous expertise as top operators to hands-on problem solve with their members, growing their skills and experience faster by learning and collaborating with experts.
We practice directive coaching. Whether someone is new to a role or lacking clarity in their responsibilities, there are many reasons why someone may be low commitment even though they have the experience and skill to hit their goals. Here we focus on question asking to uncover the core “why” behind their lack of commitment, ultimately addressing their mindset to help motivate and grow their commitment so that they can be successful.
We practice mentorship coaching. In this scenario we find that members are excited and motivated but lacking the experience to succeed. Here we will leverage the member’s enthusiasm and the expertise of our coaches to advise and hands-on problem solve, helping our members upskill and grow their skills and experience faster.
We practice motivational coaching. We find that our members are motivated and have the experience and skills to succeed. Here we lean into more pure coaching, where we’re leveraging the member’s high motivation and experience to help get them where they’re trying to go, faster.
By adapting our coaching and mentorship approach to each individual member, we’re able to meet them where they are empowering them to have greater impact in their roles, feel the immediate benefits of coaching, and feel better while doing it. Our approach might change during a session depending on the topic being discussed or over the longer term. Every coaching journey is unique and highly personalized.
The world of work has evolved, and for many of us, no two days are the same. We’re being asked to do more with less, and the nature of our roles are constantly shifting. Many of us are working in remote or hybrid settings, and the learning and development we might have gleaned by being in the office around other people isn’t quite there. A coach has never been more important to helping people feel and perform their best at work, and have the impact (and fulfillment!) we need to be successful.
There are few tools that can empower us like a coach can!
Mento’s coaches help support individuals, teams, and companies during highs, lows and everything in-between with a deep and profound understanding not only of the work you do, but who you are as a person. They ensure that the work you’re doing is aligned with purpose and meaning, and they’ll challenge you while helping you stay the course. What started as one individual transformation with my coach Jamie nearly a decade ago has now morphed into a modern methodology of coaching that’s designed for all of us, the ambitious and hard-working professionals who want to make as big of an impact as we want to be fulfilled.
Get your team the support they need to thrive with a Mento coach today. Get started here.
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