Ultimate Guide To Coaching & Mentoring Successfully7 mins - Introduction
We all catch ourselves at a crossroads in life. We need to decide where we’re going to go, and which opportunities are best left alone. These aren’t easy decisions, especially when it comes to business and job opportunities. There are quite a few things for us to take into consideration. For example, when starting a career, we want to know if that particular path is the one best suited for us. Following a career path is a lifelong decision and will lead us into other big decisions. Should you leave your home state? That may mean leaving your family and friends behind. It may mean starting fresh and dealing with a phase of solitude and financial struggle while you get on your feed. These are hard questions to ask and in many cases, the people who can best answer these questions are coaches and mentors. But who are they and how do we find them or even become one of them? This guide will help you understand who they are and how to become a successful coach or mentor.
What is Coaching?
In a general sense, coaching is the action of unlocking a person’s potential to increase their own performance. Coaching someone is helping them to learn to do something rather than merely teaching them. It’s an interactive process through which supervisors and managers try to solve performance problems and/or help their employees develop their capabilities.
The Coach Process
In the coaching process, there is an emotional bond that’s being developed. Between two people, this bond will bring to light what is called an individual challenge. This challenge makes the individual look beyond the call of their duties. In the process of doing so, they’ll learn to sharpen their inner voice. This process is meant to have a positive effect on the individual’s mindset.
From there, the coaching process turns to technical help. During the coaching process, there is a lot of technical help given to the individual. There is also a lot of personal support as well. The goal is to help the person get over their inhibitions.
One of the things that people believe when it comes to the coaching process is that it’s difficult. It’s not. It’s actually quite simple. It’s a guidance process. The process helps the individual to not be overtaken by their internal critical voice. The process helps you to overcome this voice, which can limit your point of view on things. It helps to give you a broader perspective on things. It’s a common problem in society for people to greatly limit themselves by limiting their own minds. Coaching helps to break down this process.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring can be defined as when someone helps someone else learn something. In doing so, they help the person learn it easier. He or she would have learned the process less well or more slowly. In some cases, the mentee could have not learned the information at all, had the mentor not intervened.
The Mentoring Process
Both mentoring and coaching share a similar process. With mentoring, however, you’re teaching someone something that they already know. Many of these individuals are already motivated to move forward. The mentor’s position is to help the individual step of their game. What’s great about mentoring is that it is an informal process. Mentoring helps to develop knowledge that sticks. It helps to internalize the learning process in the individual. If the individual was left to their own devices, chances are they wouldn’t be doing it on their own. It’s about inspiring and motivating them.
Mentoring versus Coaching
There are certain differences when it comes to mentoring and coaching. For mentoring, there is a need for strategic focus. In general, this means that the parties involved will zero in on a specific goal and attempt to achieve it. Coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on skills. The goal in coaching is usually to help sharpen a person’s skill set. Mentoring tends to be a confidential affair. Coaching is more open-ended. The reason being is that coaching is individually focused. You’re trying to learn the person inside and out. You’re trying to learn what motivates them and what learning techniques work best for them. Coaches learn about the person’s professional and personal life in hopes of helping them overcome their inhibitions and achieve success.
Mentors usually don’t have a personal agenda. If there is an agenda there, it isn’t for the mentor. The mentor’s focus is on the individual; they want you to achieve your goals. Coaches don’t always have a personal agenda but can in some circumstances. Coaches usually are people who are paid to help. They, therefore, have a monetary reason for doing it. There are coaching fees involved. Mentoring is more of an unpaid endeavor. In many cases, mentors are mentoring because they want to.
Mentors are less inclined to link their own success to that of their mentee. Mentors aren’t taking credit for the successes of their mentees. They were merely the hand that was guiding the person, not directing the person to a specific location. This is where the need for self-motivation on the mentee’s behalf comes into play. While coaches may not always link the successes to themselves, it is more common for them to link it. If a coachee as done well and has achieved the goals, there may be mention of this by the coach. This is especially true for those who are paid to coach people. Their income is arguably tied to the success of their coachees. If they’ve had a high success rate, coaches will be sought out more often.
Who is in the driver’s seat is also different between mentoring and coaching. A mentee is the one who is driving in the mentor/mentee relationship. Their motivation is what helps to propel them forward. Coaching, to some extent, has the coach in the driver’s seat. However, the individual being coached must want to learn. As the saying goes: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
The Steps of Coaching
Coaching can be broken down into five simple steps:
In this stage, you’re considering if you need a coach. Asking yourself a few questions can help: Are you satisfied with where you are in your life?
Are you happy with your professional or personal life?
Are you okay with the way things are going?
Are you using your full potential?
If the answers are “no,” or you find yourself wanting more than chances are you may want to seek out a coach.
2) Goal setting
You’ll need to set a goal for yourself. Goals are important because they help us achieve what we’re seeking to change in ourselves. They are the difference between success and failure. Goals should be smart, meaning they’re goals that are measurable, doable, and time-bound. Goals give your life direction.
Once you know your goal, it’s time to make a plan. Planning means planning out your life accordingly. Consider what resources you might need to make these goals happen. What money will you need? What people will you need to surround yourself with? What type of support will you need? The best way to make a plan is to do it logically and structurally.
4) Taking action
Once you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Execute your plan of action. Action is not just taking action but also being conscious of when you’re taking action. You’re actively engaging with your goals and crossing them off as you go. You’re also making adjustments if they’re needed. For instance, if your goal is still too vague, it’s helpful to reevaluate it and then break it down into smaller, more achievable goals.
5) Reaching your goal
Ultimately, as long as you keep yourself on track, you will reach your goal. At this point, you’re able to relish in the excitement that comes from breaking the chain of thoughts that plagued you beforehand.
The Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring
Stronger coping skills
Jobs come with a lot of stress. We spend, on average, more time at work than we do at home. One of the common reasons that people leave a job is because they couldn’t cope with the stress that comes with it. Coaching and mentoring not only help you become a better version of yourself in the workplace, but also teach you how to deal with the stresses that come up. For instance, if you’re in a customer service job position, coaching or mentoring can help you not take the ire of customers personally, and teach you how to let the stresses of the workplace not follow you home.
A better understanding of yourself
For the mentee and coachee, the process of improving their individual skills is a very personal journey. Not only are they learning about their position but they’re learning about themselves. They learn what motivates them to wake up and face the day. They learn about what makes them laugh, cry, and how to avoid situations that may be overwhelming. They learn to tap into their wise mind.
Potential for growth in a company
Learning more about your role and then excelling at it opens up the doors for more opportunities. Your boss may see how well you’re doing in your current job and will keep that in mind when another position opens up in the company.
“Paying it forward”
For mentors and coaches, the most fulfilling part of the job is seeing how the person grows. Philosophically speaking, we should all pay it forward. If you choose to mentor or coach someone, you’re doing just that. You’re helping to spread positivity in the world, and in doing so will make yourself feel better as well.