Definition of Coaching
There are many definitions for what coaching is all about. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as;
“Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”
Benefits of Coaching
A helping relationship formed between a client and a coach who uses a wide variety of behavioural techniques and methods to assist the client to achieve a mutually identified set of goals, to improve their professional performance and personal satisfaction, and consequently to improve the effectiveness of the client’s organisation within a formally defined coaching agreement. .
Differences between Coaching & Mentoring?
Coaching and mentoring may use the same skills and approach. Coaching will be contracted to a specific term – which can be extended. Mentoring is often a longer term relationship. A Mentor will most likely be in the same profession, sometimes in the same organization, and usually an experienced practitioner who has already walked the path the Mentee is now walking.
The CIPD clarifies that between coaching, mentoring and counselling many of the processes are similar; and they are generally offered by individuals with different qualifications and different relationships with their Coachee, Mentee or client.
Coaching does not include providing advice - rather the focus is on the Coachee / Client’s own thinking. Mentoring will include telling - or offering advice, at times.
· Relationships are contracted for specific periods of time
· Sessions can be more structured in nature and meetings can be scheduled on a regular basis
· Focused on developing strengths and making sought after changes – useful in talent development, change management and seeking specific solutions to professional challenges
· Coaching does not require the coach to have direct experience of their client’s formal occupational role - although it is expected that they will have a sufficient understanding of the business or organizational sphere they are operating in. That is, the Coach will have a command of the language of; for example, accounting or education or engineering or leadership.
· Agenda is set by the Coachee / Client – the focus will be agreed between Coach and Client across a coaching series and at each session
· The agenda is focused on moving towards the clients stated goals.
· Ongoing relationship that can last for a long period of time
· Can be more informal and meetings can take place as and when the Mentee asks for them around obtaining some advice, guidance or support
· Mentoring can take a broader view of the person
· Mentor is always more experienced and qualified than the ‘mentee’. Often a senior person in the organisation who can pass on knowledge, experience and open doors to otherwise out-of-reach opportunities
· Focus is on career and personal development
· Agenda is set by the Mentee, with the Mentor providing support and guidance to prepare them for future roles
· Mentoring is focussed on developing the Mentees career