Everything You Need to Know About Coaching and Mentoring your Team
Coaching and mentoring are both processes that facilitate both managers and employees to achieve their optimum potential. There is a common thread that unites all types of mentoring and coaching. Both these services act as a vehicle for reflection, analysis, and action that enables an individual or a client to achieve success in one or more areas of work and life.
What is Coaching and Mentoring?
Coaching is a process which facilitates learning and development so that it can bring about an improvement in performance. A coach has a set agenda to reinforce or change skills and behaviors. The coach has an objective and goals for each session.
Mentoring is an off-line help or advice offered by one individual to another to facilitate smooth transitioning of knowledge or work. Its’ usually a power free, two-way mutually beneficial relationship. Mentors are facilitators and teachers allowing the partners to discover their own direction.
Since coaching and mentoring are quite similar, here are a number of common characteristics that mentors and coaches do as part of their role.
- Facilitate to explore desires, needs, motivations, thought processes, and skills of individuals to assist them to make lasting and real changes.
- Facilitate the employees thought processes by adopting questioning techniques so that they may help the client to identify solutions and actions instead of following a directive approach.
- Offer support to the employee to set appropriate goals and methods in order to assess the progress with respect to the set goals.
- Listen, observer, and ask appropriate questions to the client to comprehend the employees requirements or situation.
- Apply tools and techniques in a creative manner by facilitating, one-on-one trainings, networking, and counselling.
- Encourage a commitment towards taking actions and developing lasting changes and personal growth.
- Maintain a non-judgemental, positive, unconditional, and supportive attitude towards the employee.
- Ensure that employees are encouraged to develop personal competencies and prevent them from developing unhealthy dependencies on the mentoring and coaching relationship.
- Evaluate the outcome of the process by adopting objective measures to ensure that the relationship is successful and the employee is able to achieve the desired personal goals.
- Work and operate within the client’s area of personal competence.
- Possess the required experience and qualifications in the areas that offer coaching on transferring skills.
- Manage a relationship that ensures employees receive the highest and best level of service and that the programs are neither too long nor too short.
What’s the Difference between Coaching and Mentoring?
Mentoring according to the traditional definition is to enable an individual to follow on the lines of a senior colleague who shared his or her experience, knowledge, and opened doors towards opportunities which were otherwise out of bounds. Coaching on the other hand is more skills and task specific.
Mentoring and Coaching at a Business Level
Many a times in today’s business scenario owing to various changes brought about by acquisitions and mergers, there is a strong need to provide the employees with all kinds of support via coaching or mentoring to help them adapt and accept these changes in their respective roles and career.
Previously mentoring and coaching were meant only for senior level management such as directors or senior managers. However, nowadays every employee has access to coaching or mentoring as a personal or professional development tool. Mentoring and coaching are closely linked with organizational initiatives in order to help the employees to easily adapt and accept the changes in a manner which is consistent with their personal goals and values.
Mentoring and coaching can focus on an individual, provide motivation, enhance their morale and productivity and thereby reduce turnover, as every employee feels connected and valued especially during organizational changes.
Mentoring and coaching is a two-way relationship where the employee as well as the organization earns significant benefits. Mentoring and coaching programs are quite popular amongst employees as it helps them achieve balance between fulfilling personal development needs while concentrating towards fulfilling organizational objectives and goals.
There is a growing trend amongst individuals to take greater responsibility towards their professional and personal development. Even employees who work with large organizations are no longer relying completely on their employers to provide them with everything for their career development needs. Individuals are seen to take up personal coaching towards improving their skills and maximising their potential so that they can achieve greater balance in their personal and professional lives.
Mentoring and Coaching at an Executive Level
There seems to be a great deal of overlap between executive and business mentoring and coaching. Executive and business coaching entails:
- Having a track record in executive and professional roles.
- Working exclusively with individuals who have the potential to be a high flyer
- Offering complete confidentiality
- Working with potential ‘leaders of the industry’ and high profile entrepreneurs
Coaching and Mentoring at a Performance Level
A lot of clients seek mentoring or coaching for enhancing the performance instead of rectifying a performance issue. When an organisation pays premium rates for development services, the key pay back that they expect is certainly performance. Performance coaching derives its models and theories from sports and business psychology and mindset as well as certain general management approaches.
Mentoring and Coaching at a Skills Level
Skills level coaching has certain similarities with one-on-one training. Skill driven mentors and coaches adopt a holistic approach by focussing on an individual’s core skills. Such coaches and mentors need to be highly competent as well as highly experienced in performing the skills that they coach or mentor.
Since job roles are changing at a fast pace, the traditional methods of training are often too generic or inflexible to cope up with the pace. Hence, one-on-one coaching facilitates an adaptive, just in time, and flexible approach towards skills development. Skills based training programs are tailor made to specifically suit the individual, his or her knowledge level, experience, ambitions, and maturity. They are focussed towards achieving a couple of objectives which are both directed towards the employee and his organization.
This style is likely to focus purely on the skills required to perform the job function although it may adopt a facilitative coaching approach instead of directive style.
Coaching and Mentoring at a Personal Level
Personal coaching services have significantly increased in Europe, UK, and Australia over the last few years. Personal coaches may work via emails, face to face conversations, or over the phone. These mentors and coaches operate in highly supportive roles especially to those individuals who wish to make some significant transformational changes in their lives.
These coaches provide their clients with a motivating and supporting environment so that they are able to explore what they wish to achieve and how they wish to achieve their aspirations. These coaches assist the client to commit to action by allowing the individual his personal space and support needed for his or her growth and development. The role of a personal coach is to assist the individual to maintain the commitment and motivational level needed to accomplish their desired goals.
Personal coaching differs from business coaching owing to the context and focus of the program. Business coaching is conducted within certain constraints placed on the group or the individual as per the organisational context. Personal coaching on the other hand is entirely driven from the perspective of the individual.