Building Capabilities & Talents! Mentoring or Coaching?

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TTM associates Article

With the continuous myriad of challenges in the business world internal & external; the fierce business environment, the increased competition, executives retiring, middle management positions disappearing due to belt-tightening measures & the emergent of less experienced Generations X and Y, organisations are becoming aware that employee’s development and capacity building is not a luxury anymore.

The overall result leaves numerous organisations struggling to achieve their business imperatives with little or no astute leadership, significant demands on all employees including more complex work and longer hours, and fewer resources to overcome these challenges.Accordingly, many organisations are introducing coaching and mentoring as effective methods for building capacities and talent, especially when knowledge and skill need to be built gradually and practiced regularly.

However, questions often arise about the use of each method, how these methods can support Organisational Development?

 

WHAT IS COACHING EXACTLY?

Coaching is the process of inspiring, encouraging, motivating, and instructing an employee to unlock his or her greatest potential so as to achieve their ultimate goal. The coach becomes the employee’s personal resource and advocate. This helps the employee to grow professionally and personally. (Farren Ph.D., Caela. “Eight Types of Mentor: Which Ones Do You Need?)

“Just as a personal trainer helps build up your muscles, a business coach may strengthen your performance on the job.” Orlando Sentinel

 

Mentoring is a collaborative partnership in which the mentor and the mentee take shared responsibility for the success of the relationship. Many times, mentoring occurs in a one-on-one situation in which a mentee chooses a respected, experienced person (the mentor) to provide professional guidance over a period of years. A mentor helps associates see meaning and vision in what they are doing and serves as a role-model who inspires, motivates, empowers, and helps individuals or teams to learn. (Farren Ph.D., Caela. “Eight Types of Mentor: Which Ones Do You Need?)

“A mentor empowers a person to see a possible future and believe it can be obtained.” Shawn Hitchcock                                

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A COACHING/MENTORING CULTURE?

A coaching/mentoring culture creates a safe haven in which to receive feedback and to reflect on ways to create further positive changes. Interpersonal conflicts are more easily resolved or never occur due to constant and open communication among all employees. Everyone is likely to feel a stronger trust in the management team and team development may be enhanced at all levels. The organisation’s ability to compete in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world is greatly increased.

The power of a coaching / mentoring culture in an organisation can result in expanded improvements in:

  • Skill development at all levels.
  • Creation of a leadership pipeline
  • Engagement by all employees
  • Retention of employees at all levels
  • A robust and aligned strategy
  • Optimal people performance
  • Increased business performance.

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COACHING & MENTORING?

Coaching & Mentoring use the same skills and approach but coaching is short term task-based and mentoring is a longer term relationship. From these wide definitions, we drill down into the main differences between coaching and mentoring:

Finally, the main difference between Coaching and Mentoring is the process. In coaching the coach helps the coachee develop the best performance mostly through asking questions. The coachee has the potentials to come up with the answers, applying the theory he taught and presenting them in his own critical thinking. This is not necessarily the case for mentoring. In mentoring, the mentee looks up to the mentor for answers, experiences and guidance. The mentee is looking for answers to his questions, to be given from someone she/he trusts, and is looking up to as a role model!

“A coach has some great questions for your answers; a mentor has some great answers for your questions.”

 

WHEN TO CONSIDER EACH?

Both techniques are argued to be more effective and impactful than other typical capacity building and talent development programmes. It is worth mentioning that both have been achieving quite significant on ground results, which prove that these methods should be an integral part of any organisation talent and capacity building practices.

 

SO, HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHICH TYPE OF SCHEME TO IMPLEMENT? THAT REALLY DEPENDS ON TWO MAIN FACTORS:

The current culture that exists within the organisation: Mentoring works well when there is more of an old-style culture – one where decisions are generally passed upwards, individuals are promoted based upon experience, dress code is more formal, etc.

This style of working suits a mentoring programme as the mentors are typically the senior managers with many years of experience that they are keen to share with others. Coaching is more effective when an organisation is undergoing significant change or striving to be learning centric. Assuming that the skills can be transferred effectively and quickly to the coaching population, this approach can be a key enabler for the organisations’ future success. (Implementing A Great Coaching And Mentoring Programme – Sandra Green Consulting Ltd).

The situation/need and outcome desired: Selecting coaching over mentoring or vice versa should be made based on the occasion itself. The illustration below shows some of the most common occasions where each technique is suggested as the best to be used:

 

 

 

BEST PRACTICES OF A COACHING/MENTORING CULTURE

During the development of the nominees as a coach or a mentor, for years TTM associates helps organisations build and sustain a coaching/mentoring culture. Our team of experts analysed significant amounts of research, successful coaching/mentoring initiatives in existence, client’s practical practices. Based on their findings, key themes were identified and the team developed three phases essential to successfully build and sustain a coaching culture. The following model shows how each phase builds upon the other for a comprehensive approach.

 

 

Coaching and mentoring provide an array of benefits for organisations of all sizes, especially small businesses. When conducted in an efficient and productive manner, coaching and mentoring provides employees a way to connect, learn and grow within the company and along their own career paths. Organisations implement such programmes to align the goals of the company with the professional development of its employees. Coaching and mentoring provides benefits for the “coachee / mentee,” the coach / mentor and the organisation. Coaching and mentoring are both effective approaches for building capacities and talent in organisations, a company’s specific needs should provide guidance on which option to choose, because making the right decision for the right reasons will help lead to more positive outcomes.

To learn more about TTM Associates programs that cover this interesting topic thoroughly and comprehensively, please check our – Passionate Leaders and Inspiring Leaders programs available on our website www.ttmassociates.com

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To learn more about TTM Associates programmes that cover this interesting topic thoroughly and comprehensively, please check our: Passionate Leaders and Inspiring Leaders programmes.