Coaching can be defined as a form of development through which an individual known as a coach supports a client, a coachee or a learner in the achievement of a personal or specific personal goal through the provision of guidance as well as training. Coaching may also mean a relationship which is informal between two individuals whereby one individual has more expertise skill and experience than the other and provides guidance and advice as the latter learns. Mentoring is a process in the employee training system whereby a more experienced individual or a senior who is also known as a mentor is assigned the task of acting as a guide, counsellor or advisor to a trainee or a junior. The senior has the mandate to provide feedback on as well as support to the person he/she is in charge of. This paper will try to explain more about coaching and mentoring, their differences and how they are beneficial to businesses, trainees and organizations.
Coaching tends to differ from mentoring since it focuses on specific objectives or tasks other than the overall development or more general goals. Both coaching and mentoring always seem to be similar which they are not and here are some of their differences below; the period by which a coach can be involved with a coachee successfully may be a few sessions or even short period meaning that coaching is short term. Depending on the purpose of the coaching relationship, coaching takes as along as it is needed. This is because coaching is very formal and usually takes a short duration. For the mentoring process to be successful, it needs time whereby both the mentor and the trainee get to learn about one another creating a good relationship that allows the trainee to trust the mentor and ends up opening up and shares the real issues which impact his/her success. Approximately, a successful mentoring relationship may last from nine months to a year.
The main purpose or aim of coaching is to ensure that a person's performance on the job has improved through acquiring new skills or enhancing current skills hence coaching is performance driven. The coach is no longer needed once the trainee has acquired the skills successfully. Mentoring ensures that the individual is well developed for the current as well as the future job meaning that mentoring is development driven. This difference differentiates the role of a mentor from that of an immediate manager thereby minimizing the possibility of causing conflict between the mentor and the employee's manager.
In coaching the immediate manager to the coachee is a critical partner since he/she gives the coach feedback on the areas whereby the employee requires coaching. This information by the manager is then used by the coach as a guide in the coaching process. The immediate manger is usually indirectly involved in mentoring despite the fact that he/she may provide suggestions on how to best use monitoring experience to the employee or can provide the matching committee with a recommendation on what a good match would constitute, therefore, the manager is not linked to the mentor and during the mentoring relationship, they do not communicate at all. The reason for this is to help in maintaining the integrity of the mentoring relationship.
Coaching can be shown immediately on any topic given a meaning that there is no design required in coaching. Once a company pursues the provision of coaching to individuals in a large group, then there has to be some extent of design that has to be involved so as to determine the assessment tools used, competency area as well as the expertise needed, a process through which to implement the coaching program does not necessarily require long lead-time. To determine the specific mentoring models, the strategic aim for mentoring, the emphasis areas of relationship as well as specific mechanisms which will offer guidance to the relationship to be more specific the matching process then the mentoring process will require a design phase.
Coaching at work would be appropriate once the company seeks to enhance its workers in specific competencies by involving the immediate manager as well as by the use of performance management tools. Coaching would be appropriate once a company has talented workers who do not give their best. Coaching will be appropriate once the company is bringing in a new program or system, once the company has few employees or members of staff who require a higher level of competency in specific areas also when a leader of the company or an executive requires some assistance in gaining new skills which will mean an additional responsibility.
Mentoring of the other hand would be appropriate once a company intends to enhance its talented pool or leaders as part of the succession plan. Once the company pursues to enhance its diverse workers to eradicate the barriers which prevent their success. Mentoring would be appropriate once the company intends to create a labour force which balances the personal and the professional. Mentoring will also be appropriate once the company intends to maintain the internal expertise as well as experiencing residing for future generations in its baby boomer workforces.
Both the mentoring and coaching processes helps in ensuring that both the corporate as well as the individual clients have achieved or gained their full potential hence the two processes play a greater role in the society, first is that they help in facilitating the exploration of thought processes, needs, desires, motivations as well as skills to help individuals make real as well as lasting change. In both asking questions, observations, as well as listening, are involved in either way to ensure understanding of the client's situation. Both mentoring and coaching processes inspire the enhancement of long-term personal change and growth as well as a commitment to action; the two ensures that clients have improved personal capabilities and to some extent does not advance unhealthy cravings on the mentoring and coaching relationship. Both coaching and mentoring work in their competence area since they possess experience as well as qualifications in areas which offer skills-transfer coaching. These are some of how both coaching and mentoring helps in the learning process and their importance in the process.
Both the processes help an individual in identifying their true potential. Both the processes can be encouraging for the individual. Both give instructions and take people in the right direction. Both involve an agreement at the beginning of mentoring or coaching. Following are the benefits of coaching and mentoring to the Organization:
- There is a possibility of retaining more employees.
- Coaching and mentoring helps the company to attain goals
- Helps in succession planning
- The company has full utilization of the resource.
- It creates and strengthens the culture and ethics of the company.
By supporting coaching and mentoring most managers ensures that there is clear confidentiality as well as agreements set, they challenge the negative beliefs of their clients, they work with the clients in order to ensure that they have developed their potential, they encourage them to take calculated risks as well as creating a good working relationship and therefore these coaching and mentoring processes are important in ensuring effective management.
Coaching and mentoring indeed is beneficial to the organization, employees, managers as well as senior directors in the organization. Therefore, it's appropriate to support and provide the needs for effective coaching and mentoring to exploit the full potential of the organization and its workforce. Ensuring professional mentors and coaches and offering them their needs to offer their services is of great importance since it will lead to full exploitation of resources within an organization hence increasing its output.
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