One way of coming to terms with what coaching is, is to view it as another leadership style and responsibility that you can adopt and use when necessary in your day-to-day work practices.

Coaching is an ongoing conversation. It doesn’t replace training or mentoring, rather, it draws from them both. In your businesses, you will move in and out of all three roles.

Coaching Mentoring
  • Coaching is about helping people learn and find solutions for themselves, rather than telling them what to do.
  • Coach and coachee relationship is characterized by equality.
  • A coach doesn’t always need to have the domain-specific knowledge, which is a must for mentors.
  • Mentoring is about telling people what to do.
  • The relationship between the mentor and the mentee is hierarchical, and is usually between a wise senior and a grateful junior.
  • Mentoring is about passing on personalized, domain-specific knowledge.
Coaching Training
  • In coaching, the coachee raises the issue, and the conversation can happen at any given moment.
  • Coaching depends on having a good 1:1 relationship with a coachee because it focuses on creating sustained shifts in behaviour, feelings and thinking.
  • Coaching can be formal or informal
  • In training, the agenda is fixed by the trainer.
  • The relationship between the trainer and the trainee tends to be hierarchical like the mentoring relationship.
  • When training, information is usually imparted in a formal way and is often conveyed to a group; training sessions are usually pre-planned and structured.

Coaching sessions are structured broadly by the Coaching Brief but individual sessions are not planned and the issues emerge from the conversation with the coaching client.

© The Impetus Team 2018

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