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Coaches and Mentors: Resources to Improve Your Outcomes

"Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere."
Chinese Proverb

What is the difference between a coach and a mentor in the workplace? Both play very important roles in helping organizations and their members achieve their short term and long-term goals. These roles may overlap at times, or they may even exist in a hybrid form, but they are not the same thing Whether you implement one or both, these relationships can be a great win/win for everyone involved.

Mentors help new members of an organization become oriented within their new environment. They are perceived as leaders within the organization and enjoy helping a new individual become familiar with and settled into a new routine. Mentors also help to facilitate connecting new members of an organization with new colleagues. They assist mentees as they “learn the ropes.” The mentor relationship addresses both the short-term and the long-term. Mentors have a successful track record within the organization, but may not always work in the exact field as the new mentee. Typically, they are available on an ongoing basis.2 Mentors may work in an independent role, or within a group format.

Coaches, on the other hand, help leaders confidently manage critical and immediate issues. Coaches often have expertise in similar professional fields. Ideally, they have specific qualifications including certification or even counseling experience, and also possess excellent organizational and management skills. They are strategic thinkers and enjoy problem solving. These qualities make them proactive in nature. A good coach will inspire and motivate. Coaching relationships may be shorter in duration than a mentoring relationship, depending upon the task at hand. Coaching can be extremely helpful to the newer junior employee as research suggests that the first three years in the workforce have an important influence on self-confidence and employee development.4

Sometimes the mentoring and coaching roles can overlap and develop into a kind of hybrid model in which the roles flex between coaching and mentoring, depending upon the circumstances.3

To summarize, a mentor may be the ideal resource to offer the new hire a broader perspective of an organization. This model is often best when an individual comes into a new organization and needs to learn how an organization works, overall. However, as things become more focused, with specific areas to be addressed, then a coaching relationship can be very helpful. A successful coaching partnership can result in a variety of short-term and long-term outcomes, for both the senior executive and the junior employee.

Both mentoring and coaching are important for different reasons. Having the correct individuals in place will help you and your organization achieve desired goals, and proactively offset trouble spots along the way.

Please contact us directly if you would like further assistance with establishing a mentorship program, or to discuss leadership coaching as an option for yourself or members within your organization.

1 Human Capital Institute, in partnership with International Coach Federation. (2016). Building a coaching culture with managers and leaders. As cited by SHRM. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/ 2, 3 Richards, K. (October 15, 2015). What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor? Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2015/10/15/the-difference-between-a-coach-and-a-mentor/#444bc26f7556 4 Connor, J. (September 09, 2019). To coach junior employees, start with four conversations. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2019/09/to-coach-junior-employees-start-with-4-conversations

This article or any other promotional material(s) from Woodland Strategies, Inc. is in no way intended to be a comprehensive plan.

Please note all markets, circumstances, and results vary. Any strategic plan or marketing initiatives must follow all State and Federal laws and regulations, accordingly.

Please contact us directly for a complete assessment and plan for your individual organizational needs.

Support Small Business!

Don’t Forget! Small Business Saturday is this weekend, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This was initially founded by American Express in 2010 and is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and their communities across the country. Small businesses play a central and vital role in the US economy.

Why Hire a Consultant?

Consultants have specialized knowledge and skills, and can help you come up with new ideas for growth, implement change from within your organization, and provide training and coaching.

Strategic planning and marketing consultants can help you in a variety of ways.

The Strategic Plan: Why Your Organization Should Have Values, Vision and Mission Statements

The strategic planning process provides opportunities to examine specific problems, generate a renewed commitment to marketing and communication, and to present the ideal opportunity to promote teamwork amongst members of the entire group. Strategic planning, whether it is short, mid or long-term, assists organization for the long run, as they monitor progress and measurement to achieve goals. This process provides the ability to remain flexible, and to change course, if necessary (Barry, 2012).

Together in Hope – Cornerstone’s Virtual Benefit Event

Tues, Oct. 27 at 7:30 am & Thurs, Oct. 29 at 4:00 pm

Woodland Strategies is so pleased to partner with organizations that strive to empower individuals.

As such, Woodland Strategies has been a longtime supporter of Cornerstone. This important organization works with individuals within the Twin Cities, and beyond, who have experienced trauma. Cornerstone provides comprehensive care for those in both immediate crises, and for the long term.

Cornerstone will be hosting their fall fundraiser in a virtual format at the end of this month as we continue in the fourth quarter of 2020, a year with so many challenges.