Establish the organisational context, strategy, culture & process for coaching & mentoring at a senior level.
Peter Hill in his book ‘Concepts of Coaching’ says this; “Coaching has landed on the world of work with immense impact and an amazing variety of approaches.”
For the purpose of this paper I shall be referring to two organisations that have been affected by the upsurge of coaching & mentoring, their approaches to it & how they may benefit from having a programme in place. One is a regional rowing club & the other is a charitable trust who provides further education, residential care & employment services for the learning disabled.
My research into finding a distinct definition between these two disciplines to date has found little agreement between the different thoughts & meanings from a variety of authors & online papers, arising to confusion between the two elements.Coaching & mentoring then, what do they mean & how are they different?
Mentoring context, meaning, process & skills
The word mentor finds its context in a Greek myth, Homer’s Odyssey, when Odysseus entrusts his son to his household servant, Mentor, saying ‘teach him all you know.’ (John Whitmore p13 ‘Coaching for Performance’)
Mentoring to me is about nurturing talent & developing a person; taking them through stages of learning & assisting them to a high performance in their existing role & future roles.Within my role, as a senior coach at the rowing club, I mentor a young head coach as he works with people. Observing his rapport & techniques he uses in communicating with young people, parents & adult members. Feedback of my observations is an important element of this process & listening to how he feels he is doing.As a carer & instructor of some ye…
…ut unnecessary interference from managers, thus relieving stress.
2. Team meetings.Another strategy may be through regular team meetings. These should be well structured & timely with specific agendas in keeping with work. It is an ideal opportunity for staff to practice their leadership skills. It is an arena where company strategy can be passed along.
However, if unstructured & leadership unsupervised, may lead to these meetings being undermined by general chit-chat & gossip.
Team coaching here may indeed help by keeping the sessions structured; the team focused on work based issues, assisting them to learn to find solutions creatively & enabling employees to turn take in a leading role.Both of the above forms are valid & can work, however I believe, certainly initially, that team coaching & individual coaching can make them even more effective & sustainable.