“ Business Coaches are you ready??”
“ Business Mentors are you ready??”
“ Business owners…do you know what the difference is???”
No, probably not.
So here’s a quick run through of who you actually need to help you and your business grow…
Business Mentors Put In
I’ve had many mentors over the years. At several turning points in my career, I’ve benefited from a mentor’s experience and guidance. They’ve shared their own journey and advised me on my own. Their help has been invaluable.
Authors Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton it this way:
“Mentoring is a relational process in which a mentor, who knows or has experienced something, transfers that something (resources of wisdom, information, experience, confidence, insight, relationship, status, etc.) to a mentoree, at an appropriate time and manner, so that it facilitates development or empowerment.”
There are three big points in this definition that is helpful in comparing mentoring to coaching.
- The business mentor has knowledge or experience that the protégé wants or needs.
- The business mentor transfers that knowledge or experience to protégé.
- The purpose is the development and empowerment of the protégé.
The key concept is that mentors put in. They share their input and guidance for the benefit of the protégé.
Difficulties in mentoring relationships arise when:
- The business mentor becomes too attached to their own guidance and disempowers the protégé.
- The business mentor doesn’t have a good answer, but gives one anyway to be helpful.
- The business mentor’s experience and guidance doesn’t match with the protégé’s needs well.
- The protégé‘s personality and giftedness requires her to approach the situation differently than the mentor would.
Now, let’s take a look at coaching.
Business Coaches Draw Out
I’ve already said that mentors have been invaluable to me. They have each shared their experience and gave me their advice. The trouble was, there was something missing from each person’s strategy that restricted their results.
The question that puzzled me was, “If no one knows, then how do we learn it?” That’s when I discovered coaching.
Coaching is a non-directive conversation in which the coach prompts reflection to release creativity, and empower the coachee to develop custom solutions for his or her problems or goals.
There are three big points in this definition that are helpful in comparing coaching to mentoring.
- Business Coaches are non-directive, that is, they do not share their experience or guidance.
- Business Coaches prompt reflection in the coachee through profound listening and asking powerful questions.
- Solutions come from the coachee’s reflection and creativity, not from the business coach.
The key concept is that business coaches draw out. They prompt reflection and creativity that produce customized solutions that can go well beyond the experience of either the coach or coachee. They can generate new learning together.
Difficulties in coaching arise when:
- The coach has specific knowledge or experience that coachee wants to learn.
- The coach isn’t skilled at drawing out and prompting reflection without advising.
- The coachee expects to receive guidance and advice, rather than create her own solutions.
Mentors and Coaches Use Overlapping Techniques
The reality is, mentors listen and ask questions and coaches provide guidance at times. In practice, there is a large overlap between these two leadership functions. Yet, they are distinct approaches to helping people.
When to coach:
- When you don’t have good answers, and sometimes even when you do.
- When the coachee needs to learn how to create their own solutions.
- When the coachee has a lot of experience in the topic at hand.
When to mentor:
- When you have experience that lines up well with the protégé’s needs.
- When the protégé needs doors unlocked for which you hold the keys.
- When the protégé is gifted in adapting ideas and models to implement her own version, rather than simply copying models “as is.”
We need both mentoring and coaching. Knowing the difference and being able to do each will expand your business growth and leadership effectiveness as you work with people in different ways according to their needs.
Take me up on a FREE 30 Minute Focus Call, and see wether you need to be mentored or coached…Call, Plan and take Action…BOOK HERE