Importance of Mentoring and Coaching Initiatives
According to John Whitmore “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.
What is Coaching and Mentoring?
Coaching is a question-based enlightening, inspirational and energizing process by a coach to orient an individual to the realities of a situation and to help him achieve desired goals. There is an enormous difference between teaching someone and helping them to learn. Fundamentally, in coaching, the coach helps the individual to improve their own performance. A good coach believes that the individual always has the answer to one’s own problems but understands that they might need help to find answers. Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future.
The coach is not a subject expert, but rather is focused on helping the individual unlock their potential. The key skill of coaching is asking the right questions to help the individual work through their own issues.
Mentoring is similar to coaching. A mentor is a guide who supports an individual or a group of individuals to learn or develop faster than they might do alone. They usually have considerable experience and expertise in the individuals line of business.
Mentoring is a highly valuable development activity implemented in many organizations. At the core of the activity is the relationship between the mentor and the mentee, wherein the development of the mentee is the key focus. The main focus of mentoring is determined by the mentee. They must identify and resolve issues with the guidance of a mentor. The mentor is not there to provide ‘the answers’, but to guide the mentee towards ‘the answer’ that is right for them. The mentoring relationship can be both short and long term. It may develop to focus on a particular issue or it may be one that lasts for years covering a range of issues.
Typically, Mentor and Mentee meet at a designated time and place to discuss issues; make plans to resolve and then review. Each session must have a purpose. It may be formal or informal depending on the mentor and mentee.
The following are some of the similarities between Coaching and Mentoring
- It facilitates the exploration of needs, motivations, desires, skills and thought processes to assist the individual in making real, lasting change.
- Uses questioning techniques to facilitate client’s own thought processes to identify solutions and actions rather than taking a wholly directive approach.
- Supports the client in setting appropriate goals and methods of assessing progress in relation to these goals
- Observe, listen and ask questions to understand the client’s situation
- Creatively applying tools and techniques which may include one-on-one training, facilitating, counselling & networking.
- Encourage a commitment to action and the development of lasting personal growth & change.
- Maintain unconditional positive regard for the client, which means that the coach is at all times supportive and non-judgmental towards clients views, lifestyle and aspirations.
- Ensure that clients develop personal competencies and do not develop unhealthy dependencies on the coaching or mentoring relationship.
- Evaluate the outcomes of the process, using objective measures wherever possible to ensure the relationship is successful and the client is achieving their personal goals.
- Encourage clients to continually improve competencies and to develop new developmental alliances where necessary to achieve their goals.
- Work within their area of personal competence.
- Manage the relationship to ensure that the client receives the appropriate level of service and that programs are neither too short, nor too long.
A mentoring relationship usually focuses on career development, broadening the thought process of an individual and mainly focuses on the future of the individual as well as the organization.
Coaching on the other hand tends to focus on the “here and now” and is more targeted at solving immediate problems or issues.
Coaching and Mentoring are processes that enable both the individual and corporates to achieve their full potential keeping in perspective the Organization’s vision.
Valluri Change Foundation engages in providing Mentoring & Coaching Programs across a diverse set of areas. Mentoring & Coaching is provided by global leaders and domain experts in the targeted areas of Leadership, Team-Building, Business Performance.
How Does Coaching & Mentoring Work to Empower Employees? (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/coaching-mentoring-work-empower-employees-37534.html
Everything you ever wanted to know about coaching and mentoring. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2018, from https://new.coachingnetwork.org.uk/information-portal/what-are-coaching-and-mentoring/