Thursday, June 23, 2016

Coaching vs. Mentoring for Business Performance

People have often wondered about the difference between mentoring and coaching and how it impacts the environment. The difference lies in the level of understanding and the nature of the knowledge transference process. When used appropriately it can have an impact on employee development and their ability to take on new roles in the company.

 A mentor builds a  stronger cognitive model while a coach builds better skills. In other words, a mentor seeks to develop higher awareness of issues thereby allowing the mentee to apply that knowledge to similar situations. A coach is teaching a narrower set of skills such as playing a sport or learning how to complete a task.

Sometimes mentors must coach and coaches must mentor. It just depends on the deficiency the employee has and the best way to help them. There are times when it is not possible to achieve personal goals unless you learned a specific skill and at other times one must develop greater awareness to achieve their goals.

Both coaching and mentoring can make a difference in how employees perform. As employees become more aware of their environment and how to make appropriate decisions through mentoring they will function better. At the same time, as specific skills are developed to enhance their abilities the employee's effectiveness rises.

Investment in coaching and mentoring programs can range from informal pairing of employees with managers to include formal mentorship programs and training with specific outcomes. Small businesses might do better with the former while larger businesses might look at the later. Knowing how to invest in and utilize your labor force appropriately influence the bigger organizational system.

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