Anytime you hear the words ‘Coaching’ or ‘Mentoring,’ you may perhaps be tempted to think that they mean the same thing. Or maybe, you have been wondering about their differences and how they contribute to the development of individuals, if there is and advantages or disadvantages, etc.
Let’s take a look at the meaning of mentoring?
Mentoring is a process of passing on the personal professional experience to a younger person and helping this mentee through advice tips succeed on the same professional path. A mentor is usually a more experienced and older person who has gained recognition and success within the field, and does not only share the knowledge and experience but also opens doors to otherwise out-of-reach opportunities.
Mentoring usually has a defined time frame which can range from one month up to a year or it could be less formal ongoing relationship based on professional standards. Effective mentoring requires the commitment of both parties, and a mentor is not only expected to let the mentee in on relevant experience but should also inspire the mentee. The mentee should prepare questions to ask a mentor and be open to receive advice or critic.
Advantages: Opportunity to use tried and tested methods or strategies that are proven to deliver good results in a particular field of endeavor. Encouragement or assistance in the jungle of the business world is indispensable.
Disadvantages: Possibility of a mismatch or even a conflict of mentor’s and mentee’s personalities. Secondly, personal professional experience that worked in the past for a particular individual might not be readily transferable to the changed organizational culture or economic conditions. Lastly, the mentee may not be able to implement a professional advice as a result of self-generating barriers such as habits, mentality, or deep-seated behaviors.
Coaching: what it is and what it entails?
Professional Coaching is a process of accelerating effective thinking within an individual being coached. It helps a coachee tap into personal resourcefulness, find answers to pressing challenges without external advice, change the mindset and behaviors to support success in the current situation or get ready for the future transition.
Coaching also promotes greater self-awareness, solution focused thinking, transformation of limiting beliefs, improved decision-making, clarity around complex issues, stress relief, boost of motivation and productivity.
Coaching facilitates the internal change that is a foundation to any visible behavior and success.
Coaching, as opposed to mentoring, is not performed on the basis that the coach has direct experience of their coachee’s professional role. A coach is an expert on how the human brain works and facilitates the coachee’s thinking process towards achievement of the desirable outcome in business and life. How does this happen? The duty of a coach is to help another person navigate the internal world of thoughts, emotions and multiple data – all that with a goal to get the results in the most efficient, ecological and effective way.
Advantages: Coaching encourages personal development as well as provides the tools for dealing with business and personal challenges in the most effective way. Secondly, through coaching, the coachee can apply tricks and tips as well as utilize the strategies and techniques at the place of work by altering the internal basis of a behavioral pattern.
Disadvantages: For coaching to be effective, both personalities of the coachee and the coach as well as the coaching style must fit together perfectly such that trust is established. Secondly, there could be areas where professional advice or training must be acquired and coach may not be qualified to deliver quality advice in situations that are beyond their scope. In such instances, advice must be sought from qualified experts in the field.
Coaching is also has a pre-determined time frame, which ranges from three months to a year or could be a lifelong process, depending on the agreement between parties involved. The relationship that comes with the coaching process starts by determining the expected outcome as well as how the results will be calculated or measured e.g. increased performance might be measured by the increase in sales or by more tasks done; improved personal leadership style might be measured by personal satisfaction, increased team performance, decreased number of conflicts, improved collaboration with team members and improved personal influence when communicating with the higher management – all of that has direct and indirect impact on the bottom line and can be measured with numbers. In comparison with mentoring, the purpose of mentoring is to provide support and shortcuts to success but the end result usually is not being assessed and quantified.
When thinking about mentoring or training programs think of coaching as a support tool to complement these initiatives.
Some mentors possess coaching skills which they utilize in helping their mentees apply the advice into their regular day-to-day activities most effectively. Mentor with the coaching skills or manager with the coaching skills is a great asset for any successful organization! The only disadvantage of mentor being also a coach is that there are might be politically sensitive issues going on within organization that the person being mentored won’t be willing to disclose to a mentor-colleague. If this is an issue the external coach is a solution since a coach from outside of an organization won’t be exposed to the internal organizational politics and by coaching professional code of ethics will be obligated to keep confidentiality.
To see how you can benefit from coaching, schedule a discovery session with Anastasia.