Coaching or Mentoring?

In a nutshell, coaching uses questioning and listening techniques and strategies to bring out your full potential. The relationship is balanced between coach and coachee to create and foster an environment of trust for you to learn and self-develop and really dive deep to find the answers that resonate with you and your values. We do a lot of discovery work first and use NLP based coaching techniques to elicit the best growth within you.

In comparison, mentoring is more advising, being accountable to and suggesting new paths for you to take and supporting you through growth and developments – the highs and the lows, using experience and advice to help you forward to achieve what you want. This can be excellent for people that like the support and accountability this provides.

Thousands in the world call themselves a ‘coach’ and it has nothing to do with sport. And sometimes, it has nothing to do with coaching either! Unfortunately, the lack of regulation makes it easy for any consultant or good friend or experienced person to call themselves a ‘coach’ and few will question it as few understand the distinctions or rigorous training a professional coach will undergo to produce results.

Here are some distinctions to help you make the right choice

Work with a consultant and you get a subject matter expert; the ‘what’ of life. The consultant will review your situation, the environment in which you operate and provide either a solution to your current challenge or a means to optimise a presented opportunity.

Work with a trainer and you get the ‘one size fits all’ approach; typically, training programs cannot be customised to your unique skills, motivation or commitment; they won’t produce shifts in your thinking or make transformations but you can take what you need and apply them to your business and yourself – and they are usually very valuable in one way or another.

Work with a counsellor and they will go back in your life to work through past pain points in order for you to be able to move forward. They will facilitate you finding the solutions as to why you have the pain points and work with you usually on an ongoing basis to achieve stability in specified areas of need.

Work with a mentor and you will have their support and experience to draw on plus accountability. In a mainly advisory capacity, they use their experience and knowledge to guide and help you. They are there to help when you dip and to cheer when you win. They will work to what you want and the goals you have set. You have someone to ‘bounce’ off and this can be invaluable at any time but especially when you are stepping out of your comfort zone.

Work with a coach and you have a professional who’s one aim is to serve you and to focus on the ‘you’ of a situation and start in the NOW to help you achieve your goals. They look at your priorities, your values and the larger environment of your life. No time is spent in the past and they why and wherefore. For me, as a business coach, these are the foundations of any working relationship –Helping you find the best outcome in your business despite any obstacles along the way, through a greater integration of your values and priorities and a strategic approach.

The role of a coach is to help that dream to be a reality and come true by finding ways to improve your business efficiencies and reducing the time it depends on you. This is achieved with bespoke, confidential and results-focused conversations, actions and total support for your goals. Generally, the goals a coach will assist you with include:

  • Identifing your values
  • Identifying and supporting your strengths and weaknesses
  • Identifying and helping you to remove blocks and sources of stress
  • Create a high level of personal standards & boundaries: what you want and don’t want and what you won’t tolerate – and how to implement that
  • Shift perceptions, behaviours and responses to ensure your choices are right for you
  • Invigorate your sense of capability, value and unique contribution in all you do and all you are

Asking the right questions

A coach asks open-ended questions and avoids questions that could be seen as confrontational, such as ‘why?’ Instead, questions that allow you to examine their performance or decisions in a non-confrontational manner.

A coach won’t try to provide the answers

The role of a coach isn’t to provide the answers for you but to question and open discussion to allow the person being coached to arrive at their own answers. If a person embarks on a journey of self-discovery, they are more likely to learn from it and adapt than if they are told they need to change.

Confidentiality is key

People being coached will only open up if they trust that the process is non-judgmental and confidential. They must be allowed to decide what information is shared outside the room and with whom.

Baby steps

By setting achievable goals staff won’t feel as daunted about the journey that lies ahead of them. Breaking the journey into smaller steps with goals along the way will work favourably on two levels – it makes the process appear less ominous and will also increase the individual’s confidence when goals are achieved along the way.

Be open-minded

There is no right or wrong path – employees respond to different stimuli, meaning that one person’s route to success may not work for someone else. Coaches need to be careful not to see someone’s preferred path as wrong if they are not privy to all the information about the individual – also, we learn from our mistakes so failure can be an important part of a person’s journey to success.

Agree on next steps

If you are going to be involved in the coaching process throughout the life cycle of a project, the coach and coachee will agree and set tasks that will allow you both to gauge whether the coaching is productive. If coaching is on a sessional basis, next steps still need to be agreed. These goals may take the form of reaching a key stage in the project or preparing for the next session by carrying out some analysis or a piece of strategic thinking.

So is coaching for you?

Call me today to book a FREE 30 minute Insight Session 07429 136815