How can coaching & mentoring help your organisation thrive?

Posted on 27 June 2019 by You HR
We all need a helping hand to get to where we need to be

The terms coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably and frequently get confused. In our article we explore the differences between the two and the ways both can help organisations achieve goals, allowing employees to increase their confidence and make their own decisions.

It is very important to be clear about the individual’s learning objective to be able to choose the right approach. The use of either approach does however require ground rules such as confidentiality and a clear plan of how success will be measured.

Coaching

Broadly speaking coaching is a process that allows an individual or group of people to reflect and gain awareness of who they are, what is important to them, their strengths, challenges, options open to them and what action to take in order to make the changes they want in their work or life.

People engage in coaching for a variety of reasons. It can help you to make changes in your life, business or career, improve your performance, enhance your relationships with others or develop specific skills.

There are also different approaches to coaching, and this is where the definitions of coaching can become blurred.

Non-directive coaching is coaching in the true sense of the word where the coach simply asks questions to allow you to find your own solutions. A non-directive coach will not offer advice and rarely gives suggestions. Through skilful questioning they will help you to see your situation from a different perspective, gain clarity, uncover options, challenge inconsistencies and hold you accountable to your actions.

The great benefit of non-directive coaching is that you, as the client, take full ownership of your own solutions rather than ‘doing what you have been told to do.’ This approach gives a sense of empowerment enabling you to make changes in your life with your confidence bolstered.

Directive coaching on the other hand is where the coach offers options, solutions, tools and techniques for moving forward. You may like to be offered solutions however the danger is that whilst a solution may have worked for one person, it might not be right for you, and consequently you may not feel fully committed to the solution provided

There are various effective coaching models coaches can choose to use to structure their coaching sessions.  These can be helpful to guide a coachee through a logical sequence and provide a framework for a coaching session.

Using a model helps in several ways. It helps to provide a purpose to the session by defining an outcome at the beginning preventing it becoming a 'chat' with no clear purpose. It can also be a prompt to ensure that the session stays 'on track'. The skill of the coach is in knowing what a client needs at a particular moment, so a toolkit of different models is helpful to draw upon and use as appropriate.

Probably the most widely known and used model is the GROW coaching model (1) This simple model helps a coach take a coachee from goal setting at the outset of the session through to exploring where they currently are in relation to their goals, exploring options they have to moving forward and concluding with a commitment to action.

A coaching model can help keep the session on track.

Mentoring

Traditionally, mentoring is the long term passing on of support, guidance and advice. In the workplace it has tended to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses their greater knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior or inexperienced member of staff. This comes from the Greek myth where Odysseus entrusts the education of his son to his friend Mentor. It’s also a form of apprenticeship, whereby an inexperienced learner learns the "tricks of the trade" from an experienced colleague, backed-up as in modern apprenticeship by offsite training.

Mentoring is used specifically and separately as a form of long-term tailored development for the individual which brings benefits to the organisation.

The characteristics of mentoring are: ·

  • It is essentially a supportive form of development. ·
  • It focuses on helping an individual manage their career and improve skills. ·
  • Personal issues can be discussed more productively unlike in coaching where the emphasis is on performance at work. ·
  • Mentoring activities have both organisational and individual goals.

Workplace mentoring programs help employees learn the ropes by exposing them to senior, more experienced employees. This helps the employee perform more effectively and gives the employee more satisfaction, whilst feeling supported.

The Benefits

Coaching and mentoring can provide an array of benefits for organisations of all sizes, especially small businesses. When conducted in an efficient and productive manner, coaching and mentoring provides employees a way to connect, learn and grow within the company and along their own career paths giving them higher job satisfaction which leads to increased productivity and reduced turnover.

How Can We Help?

You HR Consultancy Ltd through its service lines and highly skilled personnel are well placed to offer coaching and mentoring at all levels within organisations to maximise the potential of your employees within your organisation through:

  • Increased employee engagement,
  • building better personal awareness,
  • achieving both individual and organisational goals or
  • supporting specific skill development.

Please contact alice@youhr.co.uk to begin your coaching or mentoring organisational journey with us.

Written by Ian Mundy and Kairan Knight

  1. Grow Coaching Model
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