Definition of Coaching
There are many definitions for what coaching is all about. The dictionary defintion of coaching* is:
"A method of directing, instructing and training a person or group of people, with the aim to achieve some goal or develop specific skills. There are many ways to coach, types of coaching and methods to coaching. Direction may include motivational speaking and training may include seminars, workshops, and supervised practice."
*definition taken from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Benefits of Coaching
The benefits of coaching is that the individual will be able to improve their work performance and skill set by receiving one-on-one training to develop career prospects.
The majority of coaching is generally delivered within an organisation by an immediate supervisior or manager. However, many organisations these days employ professional external coaches to come into their organisation to provide this service. Coaches should be willing to listen, observe and support the coachee's ability, knowledge and resourcefulness.
External coaches are trained to deliver specific individual coaching sessions to meet the individual needs, following the methods of setting clear standards, goals, use of learning, feedback and evaluation.
Differences between Coaching & Mentoring?
The differences between coaching and mentoring are quite clear:
Generally follows the format of individual guidance that is focused on job performance and aimed at one person alone. The coach specificially advises the person on how to tackle and perform a particular task, they provide constructive feedback and delegate further similiar tasks, setting goals or higher-level tasks for the individual to complete. The coach in most instances will be an immediate supervisior or manager who will have overall resonsibility for the department's overall performance. Coaching is about having a positive relationship where the coachee respects, trusts and identifies with the coach.
Generally follows the format of generalised advice and guidance of career development. Mentoring is about developing a relationship between a more senior and experienced mentor and an inexperienced mentee to guide and develop the mentee's knowledge and career progression. The mentor generally will be someone who is not your immediate supervisior/manager or within your organisation can allow the luxury of talking to an independent impartial confidante who is not your manager, they will have the ability to listen to your issues, afford you the opportunity to vent unrestrictedly and support and assist you in achieving your goals.
However saying this, some organisations who offer mentoring for their employees may allocate a mentor within the organisation who has similiar standing, status and power as your immediate supervisior.