Leadership Fundamentals Coaching and Mentoring – Module 6
Leadership Fundamentals Coaching and Mentoring is a topic that covers the importance, benefits and challenges of using coaching and mentoring techniques to develop and empower others. According to some sources123, coaching and mentoring are related but different approaches to leadership development:
- Coaching is inquiry-based; insightful questioning can spark a person to see themselves and the world differently and solve their own challenges. Coaching is focused on building specific knowledge, skills and attitudes that are relevant for the current or future performance of the coachee. Coaching is usually more structured, time-bound and goal-oriented than mentoring.
- Mentoring is offering advice based on knowledge, expertise and experience. Mentoring is focused on sharing broader and deeper perspectives and insights that are relevant for the personal and professional growth of the mentee. Mentoring is usually more informal, long-term and relationship-oriented than coaching.
Both coaching and mentoring can be extremely valuable and helpful for leaders and their followers. Some of the benefits are245:
- Higher performance: Coaching and mentoring can improve the skills, confidence and motivation of the coachees and mentees. They can also increase their productivity, quality and customer satisfaction.
- Higher engagement: Coaching and mentoring can foster a culture of empowerment, feedback and recognition among employees. They can also reduce stress, burnout and turnover.
- Higher impact: Coaching and mentoring can enhance the influence, credibility and reputation of the coaches and mentors. They can also enable them to inspire, motivate and persuade others to follow their vision and direction.
Coaching and mentoring as a leader also has many challenges. Some of the challenges are13 :
- Building trust, respect and psychological safety: Leaders need to create a safe environment where coachees and mentees feel comfortable expressing themselves and taking risks. They need to be transparent, authentic, consistent and reliable.
- Shifting from a ‘knowing and telling’ approach to an ‘asking and listening’ style: Leaders need to avoid imposing their own solutions or opinions on coachees and mentees. They need to ask open-ended, powerful questions that stimulate thinking and learning. They need to listen actively, empathetically and non-judgmentally.
- Balancing coaching and mentoring with other leadership responsibilities: Leaders need to manage their time, energy and resources effectively. They need to prioritize their coaching and mentoring activities based on the needs, goals and potential of their coaches and mentees. They need to delegate, empower and follow up with their coaches and mentees.