Have a Great Internship
A great internship is easy to attain if you start with the basics. The key to having a great internship is to find a mentor who consistently uses coaching tools and skills in his or her work and in her or his life. Then apply yourself to using these skills in every facet of your life.
The Internship Process
As mentioned above, the first step is to find yourself a mentor. You can find mentors in your local community, on chat lists and Internet forums, in education organizations and meetings concerning your chosen profession.
The person you choose should at least be knowledgeable about your profession. Usually it's better to find a mentor in your profession. But that's not a requirement.
What's most important is your mentor's coaching skills and their relationship with you. You do not want a mentor that criticizes you in any way. That's counterproductive. You want a mentor that supports the good things you do and encourages you to improve other things.
The two of you will work together more smoothly, and you will accomplish much more, if you both agree to use coaching techniques. Use all the tools and skills you know and learn new tools and skills as you work together.
Working together is important. Using coaching tools and skills is important. These are the necessary ingredients to create and sustain a great internship.
Your Great Internship - Phase One
Plan on contacting your mentor once a week to discuss what you're doing to help your clients. Your clients and the interventions you use are the main topics of your internship. Anything that strays from this main topic is probably wasting your mentor's valuable time.
In the beginning one-on-one mentoring for your internship usually works best. You need to develop this one-on-one relationship with your mentor while you learn your basic clinical skills and build your confidence.
Building your confidence is an important part of the initial contacts with your mentor. You know the basic skills for your profession. Now you need to experience them and become confident in your skills and yourself.
Continue your weekly internship coaching sessions with your mentor until you both agree you know what you're doing; and you're doing a good job most of the time. Remember, even the best professionals do a good job only about 80% of the time. That means 20% of the time they could have done a better job. It also means they're an expert in their profession.
There are a lot of variables that keep us from being 100% effective all the time:
- You or your client is just not operating at 100% today. As you might guess, it's more often your client than you. But that's to be expected because they're your client.
- You may be making poor decisions about what interventions to use to help your client the most. Your interventions may be helping, but maybe some other intervention would help more.
- Your client may be intentionally or unintentionally resisting any intervention or certain interventions. This could be a temporary situation or a permanent block.
- You forget to use your coaching skills or tools to help your client become more involved with the healing process.
- You or your client or both of you may be trying too hard. You or your client or both of you may need to breathe deeply and relax so progress can be made.
Your Great Internship - Phase Two
When you and your mentor agree that you have a pretty good handle on what you're doing, that's the time for you to go into Phase Two of your internship. This means you call your mentor about once every two weeks except in an emergency. Handle all emergencies as quickly as possible.
During phase two is a good time for you to experiment with new techniques, tools and skills under the supervision of your mentor. Keep your mentor advised about what you're planning to do, how you're implementing your plan and the outcomes you achieve.
During phase two is a good time for you to hone your own coaching skills. Make it a habit to chat with your clients and use your coaching skills on every visit. Again, keep your mentor advised of your successes and problems.
During phase two is a good time for you to build your confidence in your skills and talents in your personal life and your profession. This is the best time for personal and professional growth. So, pay attention to your profession and your personal life. Take advantage of any opportunities to grow -- to build your self confidence.
Believe in yourself. You know you have the basic skills down pretty well or you would still be in phase one. You know you have the necessary skills, talents and gifts to become an expert in your chosen profession. You know you love to do the things you do in your profession.
Knowing these things to be true, now is the time to pull everything together and become the expert you can be. Allow yourself to become confident in yourself -- your gifts, talents and skills. Follow your heart.
Your Great Internship - Phase Three
There will come a time in your relationship with your mentor that you know -- you really know beyond a doubt -- you are in the process of becoming the expert you are destined to become. When that moment arrives, you automatically and naturally move into phase three.
During phase three you continue to learn and practice your technical and coaching skills using the tools, talents and gifts you have. But the emphasis of your learning shifts from being a technician into becoming a master, an expert at what you do.
Contact with your mentor will evolve to about once a month and become more and more sporadic as you become an expert. Contact via email or texting may become more common than contact by telephone. This is normal as you need less and less guidance.
Phase three is a mentor weaning process. But the chances are you will always consider your mentor as your mentor. You may drift apart but the bond is still there.
Phase three is also a training process where you begin to train yourself to become a mentor. You keep practicing your coaching tools and skills with your family, friends and clients. You learn to get your ego out of the way and allow your higher self to assist you with all you do.
As you move through phase three, you will probably build a closer relationship with the Divine. Most people do at this stage of their professional life. It's a process of learning in the deepest part of your being that we're all children of the Divine; and the Divine is a part of every healing process.
We're all in this together. Helping each other is one reason we're here at this time in this place doing what we're doing. When you fully understand this, all the pieces come together. You become the expert you were meant to become.
You complete your internship and embark on a new journey. We wish you all the best as you travel that path.