Coaches and mentors play an essential role in the success of an organization. They are responsible for implementing the coaching and mentoring processes and procedures set by the organization as part of their employee development programs. As such, the bulk of the responsibility relies on how effective they are, in performing their coaching and mentoring functions and how they carry out their roles.
Most organizations appoint supervisors and managers to take on the role of a coach. They are often seen as the most capable of conducting the coaching sessions because their skills and knowledge levels are apt for the coaching role. Often the employees also treat them as their mentors in developing their careers. The function of facilitating their members and looking after their welfare performed by supervisors is more like a mentoring role.
Aside from being a coach and mentor, these people take on various roles in implementing the coaching and mentoring process to the individuals. This article will discuss the different roles of coaches and mentors as well as the ideal attributes they should possess to effectively assume those roles.
Coaching and Mentoring Roles
As an advisor, the coach will help develop the professional interests and create career goals for the individual. The coach must find out how the employee wishes to develop in terms of professional or career growth.
As a counselor, the coach must put emphasis on building a relationship based on mutual respect and trust. Keeping confidentiality helps build trust and respect of the individual.
c. Friend or Supporter
The coach also must be a friend who is always ready to give a helping hand to the person and share the problems and successes. The learners need an assurance that there is someone who believes in their potentials.
d. Facilitator or Guide
Being a guide or a facilitator, the coach helps the person become aware of the internal issues and happenings within the organization and interpret the “unwritten rules” that may be crucial to the learner.
e. Instructor or Teacher
As an instructor or teacher, the coach must educate the person with the right skills and impart the knowledge needed to perform the job efficiently. The coach must also be adept in displaying these skills and knowledge.
The coach must serve as an inspiration or an encouragement to the learners. One way to show motivation is by giving positive feedback to boost the person’s morale.
g. Organizer and Planner
The coach or mentor is largely responsible for preparing the plans and activities needed for coaching.
h. Role Model
This role is simply about “walking the talk.” The coach must serve as a good example of the ethics, values, and professionalism in the company. In most cases, learners imitate the ways of their coaches and mentors.
A coach must provide constructive and positive feedback during coaching sessions. Positive feedback reinforces the individual and constructive feedback allows for a change in the person’s behavior.
Being a mentor also means being a partner to the individual in the goal of developing oneself.
The Qualities of a Good Coach and Mentor
An effective coach or mentor possesses the following attributes:
• Good listener
• Emotionally intelligent
• Good motivator
• Inspiringly persuasive or influential
• Realistic and practical
• Patient, understanding and considerate
• An achiever
Self-Assessment: The Task of a Coach or Mentor
Apart from the different roles that a coach or a mentor portrays, one very important task that must be conducted is a self-assessment of the role as a coach or mentor. It is crucial for coaches and mentors to be aware of how they are performing during their sessions. The self-assessment process can be done by answering a self-evaluation form. The answers will gauge the effectiveness of the coaching and mentoring role and will provide the coach an opportunity to improve on the areas that need to be addressed when conducting coaching. Moreover, gathering feedback and insights from the learners is also a helpful method in self-assessment.