Coaching & mentoring skills are two of the most critical leadership skills you can have. These two skills are like two sides of the same coin. Both involve a leader guiding another through specific steps towards a particular objective. But that’s just where the similarities end between these two leadership skills.
Coaching involves more than simply guiding someone; it requires a great deal of trust, presence, and authenticity from both the coach and the person being guided. To be successful at coaching or mentoring others, you must first understand what each skill is, how to structure your time accordingly, and how to establish accountability for your actions as well as results for your actions as both a coach and a mentor.
What are coaching & mentoring skills?
Coaching is the art of helping people reach their full potential. It’s a process that involves listening, questioning, observing, and challenging to help individuals and teams move forward. Coaching can occur in person or remotely through phone calls or video meetings. In the workplace, it’s often used for team development and leadership training.
Mentoring is a process of learning and development where one person, the mentor, shares their experience, insights, and knowledge with another person, the protégé. The mentor may be older or more experienced than the protégé. It is an informal relationship in which the mentor helps the protégé learn. The goals of mentoring are to give career guidance and advice; help develop professional networks; provide opportunities for skill development, and help advance the mentee’s career.
The difference between coaching & mentoring
Coaching & mentoring skills are often interchangeable, but they are not the same thing. The main difference between mentoring and coaching skills is that coaching focuses on the present while mentoring focuses on the future. Coaches help people deal with issues they’re having now, while mentors help people set goals for the future.
How to coach employees to peak performance
Coaching can unlock individual capabilities and empower teams to perform at their best in a sustainable way. Here are keys to effective coaching:
- Listen and let the other person talk: The first key to effective coaching is to listen. This sounds simple, but it’s not always easy. You can’t be listening if you’re thinking about what you will say next or checking your watch. You need to be fully present for this to work.
- Ask questions: When you ask questions, you can help people figure out what they want to do and how they will get there, making it easier for them to achieve their goals and make informed decisions about their lives and careers.
- Provide feedback: Positive feedback lets people know when they’re doing something right and reinforces good behavior, so it continues in the future; negative feedback helps people identify areas where they need improvement to improve themselves.
How to establish a more positive & energized environment
You can’t always be the one to make a change in your office, but you can start by setting the tone for how people treat each other.
- Start by acknowledging the strengths of your employees without pandering to them.
- Be sure to show that you care about their wellbeing, not just their work performance.
- Create opportunities for growth within your organization by making sure everyone knows what they should be working towards in the coming months.
How to mentor team members to take their skills to the next level
Mentoring is a great way to help your team members grow. It’s also a great way to get to know them better and build trust. And it’s not just for new hires. Even seasoned employees can benefit from mentorship, especially if they want to take their skills to the next level.
Here are four ways you can mentor your team:
- Be open and honest with them.
- Listen carefully to what they say and ask questions that help them think through issues more thoroughly and deeply.
- Help them set goals and give them feedback on how they’re doing against those goals, so they know where they need to improve.
- Encourage them when things go wrong, or they face challenges in achieving their goals. This gives them confidence and boosts morale.
How to plan for each employee’s continuous development
The best way to coach and mentor employees is to have them take the lead on their development. You don’t need to be there every step of the way; instead, set up a plan for continuous improvement and let them go.
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