Friday, 21 October 2011

Mentoring and Coaching - Part 1

As a leader, do you have a mentor?  Do you support your staff in working with mentors? 

The terms 'mentoring' and 'coaching' are often used interchangeably but research literature differentiates between the two.  Mentoring is defined as a broad range of supports for individuals transitioning into new roles.  Mentoring is often a long-term relationship between a less-experienced person and a mentor who is well-experienced.  Coaching, on the other hand, is a formal and intentional process designed to focus on a coachee's learning needs and is led by a trained coach. 

Mentoring can be an invaluable support because individuals often choose their own mentors and maintain the relationships over a long period of time.  Below are a few suggestions about mentors over the life of a career.  These suggestions below are adapted from: "Keeping Great People with Three Kinds of Mentors" by Anthony Tjan.

  • Peer mentors. In the early stages of a person's career, a mentor can help speed up the learning curve. This relationship helps the mentee understand how things work at the organization.
  • Career mentors. After the initial period at a workplace, employees need to have a senior staff member serve as a career advisor and advocate.
  • Life mentors. A life mentor serves as a periodic sounding board when one is faced with a career challenge. Organizations can't necessarily offer a life mentor but they can encourage seeking one.

1 comment:

  1. In our diverse school community, each of us has some skills and experience that are unique to us. I believe we can all be a mentor of some sort, at the same time, we can be mentee with someone. I believe a schooll leader should be able to be a mentor/mentee of someone in different position in our system.