Coaching and mentoring are two important processes that can be applied in different areas such as academic institutions, athletic teams, and in workplace settings. In many companies and organizations, coaching and mentoring are regarded as highly effective techniques in employee development, for both management and staff level.
The normal process is that the higher management has the task to conduct coaching and mentoring to the entry level employees or the staff. The main purpose of coaching and mentoring in the workplace is to motivate professionals to bring out the best of their capabilities. Usually people think that those who go through coaching or mentoring are weak and incompetent, and this is why they need guidance from those who know better. This is not true as the process focuses more on developing individual potentials and realizing the person’s capabilities.
The Definition of Coaching and Mentoring
Both terms ‘coaching’ and ‘mentoring’ are used often as synonyms, and they are indeed closely related, but in a stricter sense, the two terms are not completely the same concepts.
Coaching is a process of enabling individual learning and development, so performance and skills are enhanced.
Mentoring is a process of improving individual knowledge, work efficiency, and way of thinking. It is also about maximizing the individual’s potential, but this can be an off-line procedure, which means that the mentor may not necessarily be your boss or your supervisor.
When to Conduct Coaching and Mentoring
There are many reasons to provide coaching and mentoring to employees. A few reasons are the following:
• Developing Skills: The main reason to coach and mentor staff members is to create opportunities for building new skills and talents
• Continuing Projects: If there are current projects in the pipeline, coaching and mentoring are helpful in keeping track of the progress and spotting any issues on the project.
• Enhancing Careers: This is a very common reason for coaching and mentoring. It prepares the individual for future career growth and promotion or simply leads the employee to a clear career path.
• Solving Problems: When employees are mentored in the wake of problems and issues in the workplace, they get a better understanding of how to identify these problems and find practical ways to solve it.
• Brainstorming: Supervisors or managers may give coaching and mentoring to the members of the staff in order to facilitate the working ideas of the team for the benefit of the tasks or projects being worked on.
• Resolving Conflicts: Coaching and mentoring is very helpful in diffusing any disagreements among employees.
• Motivating Team Members: This seems to be the most practical and common reason for coaching and mentoring in the workplace. Employees and team members will regain enthusiasm and motivation to give their best in their work.
Various Types of Coaching and Mentoring
There are different types of coaching and mentoring that may be used or applied depending on the need of the individuals.
a. Performance Coaching and Mentoring
This is a very common type of coaching and mentoring especially in the workplace setting. Instead of rectifying issues of an individual’s performance, the coaching puts more emphasis on enhancing and identifying the person’s strengths in varied areas in order to create a better performance.
b. Skills Coaching and Mentoring
This kind of coaching and mentoring concentrates on developing the potentials and capabilities of a person, which can be useful for the role of the individual in the company. The coaches or mentors must be highly adept in manifesting or demonstrating the skills that they also deliver to the individuals. The normal set-up for this type of coaching and mentoring is a one-on-one training that addresses the person’s knowledge, core skills and experience.
c. Personal Coaching and Mentoring
The main objective of personal coaching and mentoring is to create significant changes in a person’s life. This type is based on a completely different approach from the perspective of the individual.
d. Executive Coaching and Mentoring
This is geared towards coaching and mentoring professionals, including the management and employees, in their goal to enhance professional and personal development.