This article will hopefully provide you with a basic knowledge of coaching and mentoring, and how its use can help move your business forward.
Coaching is generally defined as a developmental process for an individual to reach a goal, be that through teaching, training or even mentoring. Mentoring is a more informal relationship between one person who has greater experience and knowledge and another who is looking for advice and guidance.
Most businesses have less experienced individuals and more senior figures within their organisation. However, the latter will all have begun as the former. The cycle relies on experience being passed down through generations so that there are constantly talented businessmen passing their advice on to aspiring entrepreneurs, who will hopefully in turn do the same and so on. Coaching and mentoring aims to speed up this process and make it more efficient. They exploit techniques which enable individual and corporate clients to realise their full potential.
We mentioned the general difference between coaching and mentoring. However, the majority of the elements are very similar. Both processes begin by facilitating the exploration of what certain individuals need to improve, including asking the client for input at this time. They also move forward in the same way, setting each individual goals and monitoring progress. Results are largely similar, although mentoring is often quicker for one person as they have the undivided attention of the mentor, rather than a coach focusing on a whole group.
There are also different levels and types of coaching and mentoring. A business coach is someone you would look to if you are endeavouring to improve the skills of lesser employees, perhaps in large groups. On the other hand, executive mentors would be the answer if a high profile business leader was looking for advice or even the opportunity to broaden their skill set. Furthermore, there is performance coaching and mentoring, for when an individual is slipping below standards, or skills coaching and mentoring if, for example, someone was moving into a new role in the business and needed some specific coaching to perform it.
If you decide that you want one or more of these effective plans to be integrated into your business, then here are a few places that may enhance your understanding of the topic, or even provide you with the services you need:
- Jo Faragher writes about the benefits of embedding coaching into your organisation on Personnel Today.
- Steve Mitten is a business and executive coach and mentor.
- Christian Simpson is a business coach, mentor and leader for entrepreneurs.
- Train in a Day provides bespoke short courses to either develop the current coaches and mentors at your business, turn current employees into effective coaches themselves or even do the coaching for you through their highly skilled and experienced business coaches.
by Tom Witcomb