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Name: Emmah Sonny
Email: emmahsonny@gmail.com
Bio: Editor and writer, Emmah Sonny has a passion and interest in writing stories.
Post Source: The post was originally posted in Finstock Evarsity college blog post and is the copyright property of Finstock Evarsity College which reserves all rights

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Coaching and mentoring are often confused to be the same thing. While they are similar, they are not exactly the same. A coach in the office is helping someone to learn a skill. This is the same as a football coach teaching a player how to improve his dribbling. A mentor has a higher goal for the person she is working with. The mentor isn’t seeking to merely have the employee get better at his job, she wants to help the employee move up the ranks of the company.

She gives him insights about things over and above the employee’s job description, even bringing the mentee into meetings and appointments. The employee tends to work harder, seeing the opportunities opening in front of him. If the mentor is a good one, the employee becomes inspired by working with a high-level leader who he respects.

The Association for Talent Development defines mentoring as “a reciprocal and collaborative at-will relationship that most often occurs between a senior and junior employee for the purpose of the mentee’s growth, learning, and career development. Often, the mentor and mentee are internal to an organization, and there is an emphasis on organizational goals, culture, and advice on professional development.”

The Association for Talent Development defines mentoring as “a reciprocal and collaborative at-will relationship that most often occurs between a senior and junior employee for the purpose of the mentee’s growth, learning, and career development. Often, the mentor and mentee are internal to an organization, and there is an emphasis on organizational goals, culture, and advice on professional development.”

According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is, “an interactive process to help individuals and organizations develop more rapidly and produce more satisfying results; improving others’ abilities to set goals, take action, make better decisions and make full use of their natural strengths.”

The individual receiving coaching is referred to as the client or coachee. Coaching is thus applied between two individuals where one has greater experience and expertise than the other and offers advice and guidance as the other goes through a learning process.

Many organizations are adopting mentoring and coaching as a vital part of their professional and institutional development plans, with tangible benefits such as faster, more effective integration of new employees; retention of quality professionals; increased transfer of skills from one generation to another; gains in productivity and performance; increased learning from professional development activities; enhanced communication, commitment, and motivation; and a stabilizing factor in times of change. Many successful leaders are mentors/coaches even as they themselves still undergo mentorship, while still being mentored, making the process a continuous journey of career development in leadership

Distinguish between mentoring and coaching in leadership and management.

While Mentoring:

  1. Seeks to provide a safe environment where the mentee shares whatever issues affect his or her professional and personal success
  2. Requires time in which both partners can learn about one another, build a climate of trust and an environment in which the mentee can feel secure in sharing the real issues that impact his or her success.
  3. Is development driven: The purpose is to develop the individual not only for the current job, but also for the future.

Coaching is

  1. Task – oriented: The focus is on concrete skills, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, and learning how to think strategically.
  2. Short term: coaching lasts for as long as is needed; may be even just a few sessions depending on the purpose of the coaching relationship and the skills at hand.
  3. Performance driven: The purpose of coaching is to improve the individual’s performance on the job.

Best practices in mentoring and coaching, in leadership and management.

The skills of mentor and coach overlap to some extent. Both mentors and coaches are ‘critical friends’ although they might use different methods. A coach is more likely to use direct feedback, while a mentor relies more heavily on the questioning process. A coach is a specialist who works with the protégé on specific goals and objectives – the professional equivalent of a fitness trainer. A mentor is likely to have followed a similar career to the one their protégé is starting, and will pass on their expertise.

It is important to practice the skills of mentoring and coaching. Some of the best practices are grounded on the principle of mutual relationship, built on trust as well as a willing mentor and mentee, in that:

  • There is an agreed partnership between two people (more experienced and less experienced) with shared experiences and interests.
  • There is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.
  • A mentor and coach act as a guide who is willing to help the mentee/coachee to find the right direction and develop solutions to leadership issues.

Mentors and coaches empathize with the mentee/coachee and take time to understand their issues while providing guidance and encouragement

  • Mentors/coaches provide the mentee/coaches with the opportunity to discover their potential and decide where they want to be, depending on the reality on the ground.
  • A mentor/coach helps the mentee/coachee to believe in self, boost their confidence and to explore new ideas in confidence.
  • A mentor should ask questions and challenge the status quo.

In addition mentor leaders can inculcate healthy relationships with their followers through Mentoring and Coaching in the following ways:

  1. Having abilities to relate to people
  2. Showing interest in people
  3. Building relationships opens the path for influence and persuasion.
  4. Taking the time to build relationships with the follower

 

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