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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

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

How to Create a Standard Operating Procedure for Your Organization

Most people associate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with highly specialized or regimented organizations, such as hospitals, research facilities, government agencies, or the military. However, these are not just for complex organizations, and are highly valuable for even minor areas and tasks (Biologic Technical Applications, 2012). To help you create and apply SOPs to your organization, our strategic planning agency in Minneapolis is sharing the steps on getting started.

Creating Strategies to Address and Recover from Learning Loss in Your School

While the past year showed how school districts could rise to the challenges of helping students access remote learning, studies are showing that it simply wasn’t as effective as learning in a classroom setting (Chen, Dorn, Sarakatsannis, and Wiesinger, 2021). We know that learning gains and knowledge retention is significantly reduced for students in remote learning settings, and while the full extent isn’t known yet, research indicates that students may return with fewer than 50 percent of the learning gain in math and 70 percent in reading compared to a typical school year (Kuhlfeld and Tarasawa, 2020).

5 Signs Your Nonprofit Needs to Update Your Strategic Vision

The past year was exceptionally challenging for nonprofit organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn as well as a focus on racial justice and equality led to organizations struggling to maintain a relevant message in a struggling climate (Kim & Mason, 2020). However, organizations that are able to realign their strategic vision and implement it are able to weather changes and thrive. To help you prepare for the future, our strategic planning company in Minneapolis is sharing the five signs your nonprofit needs to update your strategic vision.

Eight Ways to Create an Influential Personal Brand

Why is your personal brand so important?

Simply put, this is how you present yourself to the world. The term “branding” used to be reserved for businesses and star power, but of course now personal branding has become essential to many (Castrillon, 2019). A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. This is how you come across to the public.

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