Coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably and considered as the same or similar. There are differences. Coaching is a task-driven, goal-oriented process where mentoring involves relationship building over a longer period of time. Coaching focuses on job performance and how to improve and gain new skills. Mentoring develops an individual for a current role as well as for a career going forward.
Coaching and mentoring are practical and cost effective ways to improve productivity in organisations by enhancing awareness and honing skills. They improve communication and conflict management skills.
GUIDELINES FOR MANAGERS FOR EFFECTIVE COACHING AND MENTORING
Clarify realistic objectives and expectations.
Build on strengths and capabilities (don’t focus on negatives) to enhance self-development.
Create a safe environment that is comfortable and confidential. Build trust.
Be an effective listener.
Offer positive and constructive feedback.
Ask effective and thought-provoking questions.
Design action plans.
Be realistic, practical and open-minded.
Accountability – the employee must be responsible for their actions and make commitments.
Effective coaching and mentoring skills are not only assets to any manager but an essential skill in the workplace.