In organizations and day-to-day life we come across people who call themselves managers, coach, trainer, teacher, mentor and some consider themselves as leaders. Often some of these terms are used synonymously. Though a person can play the role of a mentor, manager, leader, coach, within an organization, each of these roles are different and unique.
Leader – one who inspires others by their actions and behavior. Leadership is a philosophy of life. Leadership is not about managing things but about developing people. It is about helping people to liberate the fullness of their talents while they pursue a vision that you have inspired them to buy into as a worthy and meaningful one. Great leaders can be great teachers and great coaches.
Manager – managers direct and tell their team what to do. They plan for the achievement of day-to-day tasks and the goals of the department or group whom they manage. Managers, by nature, are concerned with outcomes.
Mentor – Mentors help to shape or influence a person’s beliefs and values in a positive wayÂ by resonating with releasing or unveiling a person’s wisdom frequently through the mentor’s own experience. Mentoring is based on wisdom and role experience and tends to be more directive. Mentors have greater influence over client’s career prospects.
Mentors and Coaches
Similarities, in that both
- aim for the individual to improve their performance and be more productive
- provide support without removing responsibility
encourage individuals to stretch but can provide support if the person falters
- require a degree of organizational know-how
- stimulate personal growth to develop new expertise
- function as a career guide to review career goals and identify values, vision and career strengths.
- focus on learning and development to enhance skills and competencies.
- Mentors freely give advice and opinions regarding strategies and policies whereas coaching is about evoking answers from the individual.
- MentorsÂ convey and instill the standards, norms and values of the profession or organization whereasÂ coaching is more about exploring and developing the individual’s own values, vision and standards.
Consultant – A consultant is an expert in their specific field. Â A consultant is usually brought in when systemic changes are needed beyond the influence and control of the individual client. Consultants are usually not involved in implementation of recommendations.
Coaching and Consulting
Similarities, in that both
- aim to support organizational change
- solve problems, set goals and design an action plan
- coaching can be conducted outside of a consulting relationship: a coach’s expertise is in the domain of conversation, communication, interpersonal skills and emotions.
- a coach does not have to be an expert in the business field, unlike consultants. Coaching revolves around relationships where as consultant services are information based.
- coaches work with individuals during and after organizational change. Coaching is more personalized and concerned with the individual’s needs, values and goals.
Training – Training is about transfer of skills and tends to reinforce a traditional, hierarchical style of management within an organizational context.
DifferencesÂ between Training and Coaching
- training agenda is fixed and set by the trainer, whereas in coaching, the individual sets the agenda, which can be flexible.
- training rarely involves feedback, whereas the coaching process includes ongoing feedback and continuous learning.
- some trainees benefit from a training program while others do not. Coaching on the other hand is personalized and geared towards the individual’s needs and aspirations.
- coaching is about sustained behavioral change , whereas training tends not to bring about major shifts in thinking and action
Counseling can be either in the firm of therapy or workplace counseling. Â Counseling tends to focus on the past, resolving situations associated with the past. Â Counseling typically looks for causes behind the problem or performance deficit and follows a remedial approach.
Counseling and Coaching
Similarities, in that both
- recognize strengths and weakness
- listen and reflect
- investigate and clarify values
- coaching is about setting goals and forward action
- coaching emphasizes strengths and achievements
- coaching is a process of continual development Â by which the client gains the skills and abilities they need to develop professionally and personally and perform better at work and in their personal lives.
- coaching emphasizes new competencies and new actions.
What IsÂ Coaching ?
- Coaching is a process to unlock a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is essentially a conversation – a dialogue between the coach and the client which focuses on improvement of skills and concrete results
- Coaching assists the client to identify and remove barriers that limits the expression of their potential
- Coaching encourages a systematic, strength-based process of setting goals and taking actions that ensures sustainable performance.
In summary, if one were to look at the skills/will matrix ( what one can do v/s what one wants to do). A coach works well in situations where there is High Want To and High Can Do or where a person has a low want to but is High on the can do.
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