Three Coaching Skills for Leaders and Mentors in Academic Medicine

Last updated February 21, 2021

Three Coaching Skills for Leaders and Mentors in Academic Medicine

Last updated February 21, 2021

Provide your mentees with the support and agency to overcome their own obstacles.



Many formal mentors and leaders in academic medical settings are asked to take on significant mentoring responsibilities in addition to their clinical work, teaching, research, and scholarship. To be a successful mentor requires you to create an empowering dynamic with your mentees and focus them on developing their careers and solving challenges. But those tasked with mentoring do not often receive any training on how to do so effectively. By incorporating coaching skills into your mentoring role, you can transform the relationship, create a safe environment for your mentees, and empower them to reflect and address their own barriers and obstacles.

The best way to learn about coaching is to do it. In this workshop, you will use a guiding worksheet to practice three core coaching skills in pairs and have ample opportunities to ask questions and receive feedback. You will leave with a new mindset on mentoring and a powerful set of tools for:

  • Asking powerful questions and listening actively
  • Exploring a mentee’s barriers and obstacles
  • Developing next steps and creating accountability

Coaching has many applications in academic medicine in teaching and leadership. You will learn to recognize situations when coaching skills can be applied with powerful results.

Who should attend?

Who Should Attend

Health and wellness professionals working in higher education who would like to benchmark their thinking, as well as share and gain ideas for operationalizing testing and contact tracing at their institutions in the fall, should participate in this discussion. Institutional leaders or members of task forces related to the fall 2020 reopening of campus may also benefit.


March 30, 2021

1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern


This interactive workshop is designed around the following questions:


What is the definition of professional coaching?

To begin the workshop, you will be introduced to the concept of professional coaching and its relationship to mentoring and leadership in academic medicine.



How can I create a safe space for coaching and mentoring conversations?

Learn how to establish a psychologically safe environment for candid sharing.



What are the core coaching skills I can use in my mentoring role?

In this highly interactive section, you will learn and practice three core coaching skills using a guiding worksheet to:

  • Create a “level 3” conversation using powerful questions and active listening
  • Use a “level 3” approach to explore barriers and obstacles
  • Develop next steps and create accountability



When and how do I use coaching skills as a mentor in the academic medical space?

Learn when it is best to share your experience and provide practical guidance and when it is best to entrust your mentees with finding their own answers.