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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.

Nonprofits: Standing Out from the Competition and Building Connections with New Donors

The nonprofit sector has been steadily growing in the United States for the past two decades. In 2016, over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations were registered with the IRS, a nearly five percent increase from 2006 (NCCS Project Team, 2019). This growth is in direct opposition to the amount of money being donated to nonprofits. While COVID-19 is blamed for a steep decline in donations, the truth is that small and medium-sized donations were down significantly before 2020. In 2016, nearly 54 percent of American households donated to a legally recognized charity organization, a 1.5 percent drop from 2014 and an 11.5 percent drop from 2008 (Rooney, 2019).

Between growing competition and fewer available dollars, your nonprofit needs a successful strategy to build your brand and attract donors. Unlike for-profit businesses that rely on transactional connections, ie: what the customer gets in exchange for their dollars, a nonprofit has to build their outreach and growth strategy by building human connections and tapping into emotions. To help you do this, our strategic planning company in Minneapolis is sharing five steps that will help you stand out from other organizations and quickly connect and build trust with prospective donors.

The Importance of Organizational Ethics in Today’s Business

When most people consider ethics, they think of an individual acting in a fair and virtuous manner – treating others equally and with respect, taking responsibility for one’s conduct, behaving with a set of principles. However, there is a growing focus on organizational ethics and creating a culture of propriety, fairness, and honesty that guides decision making and actions throughout the company. Our strategic planning company in Minneapolis is looking at what organizational ethics are, why they’re important, and how creating this culture isn’t as simple as sending out a memo or rewriting a mission statement.

Your Personal Values Statement

Woodland Strategies specializes in helping organizations develop Values, Mission and Vision Statements. Generally, creating internal and external messaging such as this can take many months, and is often done as a team. It’s worth the time commitment. Statements such as these provide excellent operational guidelines for all stakeholders, both internal and external. This experience also provides an outstanding opportunity to establish stronger teams within any for-profit or non-profit entity.

Sales: Optimize Positive Outcomes for your Customers!

Everyone has experienced significant changes in the business landscape within the past year during this pandemic. Consider sales. These changes have impacted every sales department and every customer in some way. Forecasting sales during a pandemic may not likely yield reliable and valid results (McLeod, & Lotardo, 2020).

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