Coaching and Mentoring Explained

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Coaching and Mentoring Explained

Is your business performing to its optimum? Are you getting the most out of your staff? If not, engaging a business coach or mentor is the answer! Please continue reading to learn more.

One of the best ways to grow your business is through coaching and mentoring. A good coach or mentor can help you to identify areas of potential improvement for your leadership skills, your business planning, and other areas.

One thing that a lot of people don’t realise is that coaching and mentoring, while they have a lot of similarities, are different practices. 

What’s The Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring?

Coaching and mentoring have a lot of similarities. They use the same basic approach and those who offer the services have similar skills. The main difference is in the nature of the relationship and how it is delivered.

Coaching has a few key characteristics:

  • The relationship will last for a relatively short period of time
  • There are regular meetings and there is a clear structure
  • Coaching is short term and focuses on a specific area of development
  • Coaching is usually job/skill-focused
  • The coach sets the agenda
  • The goals that the coach helps the student work towards are clearly defined

Mentoring takes a different approach:

  • A mentor, mentee relationship is often an ongoing, long-term thing
  • Mentorship is less structured and can include informal meetings
  • Mentors focus on the person and their career, rather than a specific job or task
  • The mentor is usually a senior person with contacts and knowledge the mentee does not have
  • The mentee sets the agenda

How Coaching and Mentoring Work

Coaching and mentoring can be delivered by senior people within an organisation, or by someone from within the same industry external to the organisation. For some jobs, coaches can be brought in from external organisations.

This can be helpful because an external coach is able to provide a critical and impartial view of a situation.

Coaching and Mentoring Explained

Why The Differences Matter

You may be wondering why a coach can’t also offer mentoring or why a mentor can’t be more hands-on. This perception is understandable, given that people use the terms interchangeably.

The distinction is important, though, because the approach to learning really does matter for the experience of the learner.

It is crucial that the learning objectives of an individual are established before a coaching or mentoring relationship begins.

Depending on the type of relationship that is being established you might want to lay down some ground rules, such as rules for confidentiality.

Mentors and coaches both help people with their careers, but where coaches build skills so that people can find their own solutions to various problems, mentors tend to be more on the outside of the working world.

A mentor can provide directive advice in certain situations, but those situations are career-level, rather than about the day to day activities of a business.

Could You Benefit From Coaching and Mentoring?

Many people work with coaches and mentors when they are first starting their careers.

As people become more experienced, however, they often move away from coaching and mentoring, thinking that they’re not getting much out of it.

This is a mistaken point of view that could be holding people back from reaching higher tiers in their industry.

Mentors have a lot to offer in terms of helping a person set developmental goals, plan the next step in their career, improve their ability to network and build contacts, and build their interpersonal relationships.

Coaching and Mentoring Explained

Even incredibly successful people have mentors. The mentoring relationship is not just about ‘guiding someone down a career path’, but about providing a sounding board, someone to be accountable to, and someone to give an outside perspective.

Mentors improve a person’s confidence and provide encouragement when it is needed. Yes, mentors also offer practical help and sometimes even access to their network of contacts, but that is just one part of what they do.

Having monthly or bi-monthly check-ins with a mentor can be incredibly beneficial for anyone, no matter what stage they are at in their career. Coaches, on the other hand, offer a more focused role.

Let’s imagine that you have an employee who is very good at most of their job, but lacks the confidence to talk to clients and is a poor salesperson.

A sales coach could help that person develop their skills by providing them with strategies and general guidance to improve their selling ability.

They will help them to understand what it is that is holding them back when they try to sell, and provide them with the mental tools they need to overcome objections, relate to their clients better, and close more deals.

Just as business owners can benefit from mentorship, they can also often benefit from coaching.

Is your business coasting? Are you sure that you will be able to survive the next few years even if we were to enter a new economic downturn? If not, coaching could help you address the reasons that you’re not growing. 

A coach could guide you as you critically evaluate the business, giving you ideas for areas of business improvement, and recommending training, new tactics and avenues to explore for solutions.

Coaches encourage, support and empower. When was the last time you had someone around you who was wholly and unconditionally supportive of your business?

Coaching and Mentoring Explained

Taking that Next Step

Being a business owner is liberating at times, and stressful and tiring at others. It can be hard for someone whose business is ‘just getting by’ to have the time, money and energy to grow.

Allowing a business to stagnate, however, is a critical mistake which could leave you vulnerable to any economic pressures that might come along in the next few years.

Instead of questioning whether you can afford a coach or a mentor to help you expand your business, think about the return that such an investment would bring.

Treat mentors as an investment just like stock and staff training – something that improves morale and productivity, and that makes you money in the long term. The right coach could turn a surviving business into a thriving one. 

At High Velocity Business Improvement Coaching, we are able to help you improve a vast number of areas across your business through our coaching and mentoring programs.

We can coach your business to understand your problems, the size of the problems and how to solve the true root cause of these problems.

Please contact us today to book a free consultation or for more information.

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