The relevance of coaching and mentoring

4817 words (19 pages) Essay in Management

25/04/17 Management Reference this

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Coaching and mentoring both are considered to be very important activities in organisation working in the current business era, where there is high competition among different competitors in market with different types of quality products and services. All these organisations in modern management strongly believe in the development of the human resources in their as they consider humans as an asset and important resource for achievement of their organisational goals and objectives. So the make human able to carry out their job roles successfully and to make sure the achievement of the organisation objective by their hard work, skills and motivation, organisations arrange activities like coaching and mentoring to achieve their objectives through human resources in the organisation.

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Coaching and mentoring are popular capacity-building tools, especially in the area of leadership development. They are often mentioned in proposals and reviews as key elements of good capacity-building practice. Yet despite their current status, many of us are unclear what coaching and mentoring really involves, and where and when they work. [6]

This assignment is about the understanding of the basic concepts of coaching and mentoring, the basic definitions of these two terms, what is the difference among the concepts and processes of coaching and mentoring, and what are the processes that organisation use to hire or develop a proper coach or mentor in their organisation.

Objectives of Assignment

This assignment is divided into two task, following are the objectives and requirements of each individual tasks.

Task 1

The objectives / requirements of task one of assignment are

Define the terms mentoring and coaching

Demonstrate a critical and clear understanding of the differences between mentoring and coaching

Critical reflection of skills required to be an effective coach and mentor

Coaching and mentoring processes

Leadership behaviors (particular attention must be paid to theories on motivation, learning and emotional intelligence) and styles that accommodate mentoring and coaching strategies

Task 2

Following are the objectives / requirements of the task two of the assignment

Critically evaluate how the current academic debate on coaching and mentoring will enable you as a Human Resources Manager to instill the importance and value of coaching and mentoring to organizations.

Critically reflect on how your academic research on coaching and mentoring has contributed to the development of your subject knowledge on Human resources.

Critically reflect on your achievement of any two of the module learning outcomes

Definition of Mentoring

Mentoring is an indefinite, relationship based activity with several specific but wide ranging goals. It does not have to be a formal process. The mentor is a facilitator who works with either an individual or a group of people over an extended time period. The agenda is open and continues to evolve over the longer term. Mentoring seeks to build wisdom the ability to apply skills, knowledge and experience to new situations and processes. [2]

Mentoring relationships can deliver a number of critical benefits to nonprofit organizations and their employees. They can accelerate learning and expand the overall competency base of staff. They can help assure organizational agility, flexibility, and resourcefulness in difficult times, drawing on the guidance of seasoned professionals. They can improve the quality of work products and services through the use of feedback loops. They can strengthen networks and build collaborative ties between the organizations or work units where mentors and mentees are based. And they can help protect nonprofits from unforeseen liabilities, as mentors’ help mentees assess risks and manage challenges. Mentorship fosters employee loyalty and commitment, improving morale while enriching organizational culture making it more humane and accountable to community. [3]

The activities of mentoring a very important when there are some persons in organization at senior positions, got good experience of working with organization, have good knowledge of organization products and services, good understanding of the organizational structures and procedures, and that person wants to voluntarily or through the set procedure of the mentoring for the organization with new and un experienced employees in very informal, and friendly way. Different organization irrespective of the structure, size and business of the organization are getting benefits from the process and procedures of mentoring.

Definition of Coaching

To survive and make the organization a prosper institute in the tough era of competition, it is needed from the organizations to perform at their best with high level of effectiveness and motivation towards the achievement of their organizational goals and objectives. This clearly indicate that certain skills like leadership skills, taking right decision on right time (decision making) relationships between different staff members, creation and innovation activities, time management, stress management, controlling issue of high importance, conducting and controlling meetings effectively are all those skills and activities which the organizations has to be at very best in order to capture a prominent position in the market.

To carry out all the above activities in proper way the organization can grab the benefits of all these, the term coaching are use. As there is no one agreed on definition of coaching exit but different management writer have come up with their own definition, in all of them some terms remains the same like working for the betterment of skills and information’s in organization through a very structured process.

The term coaching includes activities related to developing the organizational capacity of whole organization (such as increasing leadership for instructional reform). It includes helping management and employees reallocate their resources and improve their use of data in the service of improving instruction and it includes activities directly related to improving instruction (such as one on one observation and feedback of employee’s instructional strategies and small group learning of new content and pedagogy). [1]

The focus of coaching is on meeting very specific objectives within a set period of time. Coaching is mainly concerned with performance and the development of certain skills. It usually takes place on a one-to-one basis and has a very specific purpose. There is usually a planned program with a much shorter timeframe than in mentoring, so the learning goals are usually determined in advance. [2]

Mentoring and coaching can be ‘stand alone’ activities, but they can also be used to complement each other.

Characteristics of coaching

Following are the main characteristics of the coaching presented by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and most of the coaching professionals agree with these characteristics and consider these characteristics as fundamentals for coaching activities in the organization.

This is development through one to one discussion.

Give people understanding on their weaknesses and strengths.

The aim of coaching is to address a specific issue.

It is considered as short term activity, but its impact is very long term.

This is known as non directive development

The purpose of coaching is the improvement of performance and enhancing skills of individuals and team members working in the organization.

It addresses different issues with the internal environment of the organization, and external organization.

The organizations conduct coaching activities for the achievement of both organizational and individual goals.

This is time specific activity.

It works on the premise that clients are self-aware, or can achieve self-awareness.

It is a skilled activity

Benefits of coaching and mentoring

The coaching and mentoring helps organization in enhancing their human resources skills and make them able to carry out their job roles and responsibilities in way which is efficient, effective and which helps the management of the organization to achieve their business goals and organization objectives. The coaching and mentoring makes the management able to fold the employees activities and role in the way that they want, it helps individuals working in organization in the improvement of their personal and professional skills, and make the employees able to achieve their individual targets and those of organization.

It provide the employees a safe space to delegate

Enhance the skills which the individuals encompass

Ability of learning new skills

Provide an insight into yours skills as a coach and mentor and also to those of others.

Get unbiased, confidential support

Provide fresh prospective on the related issues to work, workplace and organization environment.

Provide the opportunity to make biased things clear between the individuals in the organization.

Difference between coaching and mentoring

The differences between coaching and mentoring are often considered being very min, even most of the people think it coaching and mentoring as different names of same concepts, and it can be difficult to distinguish between coaching, mentoring and counseling. In practice, ‘mentoring’ for example is sometimes used interchangeably with ‘coaching’. Traditionally, however, mentoring in the workplace has tended to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague used their greater knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior or inexperienced member of staff.

Similarly, it can be hard to draw a clear distinction between coaching and counseling, not least because many of the theoretical underpinnings of coaching are drawn from the worlds of counseling and therapy. For the purpose of managing coaching services the key distinction to be drawn is that coaching is for those who are psychologically well; a coach should be able to recognize where an individual is so distressed by personal or social issues that he or she needs to be referred to specialist counseling or other support.

Coaching and mentoring processes

According to Robert Dilts different organizations and individuals work on development activities in different forms, these activities are conducted by managers sometime while by some organizations uses the concept and approach of internal and external mentors and coaches.

Robert Dilts define the following process for coaching and mentoring

Guiding: This the process which leads individuals and groups within organization from their current state to the to a desired state in their personal and professional life, same is the case like a car journey, the person driving is on current location and decides the target location and plan a certain path to reach the target.

Coaching: is the process of improving another person’s awareness about the deficiencies in his / her field and area of work, sets a target for that individual to achieve and improve a certain behavioral performance.

Teaching: is the simple process of helping individuals and groups by an expert person to develop the skills and learning knowledge about a particular thing, place or person.

Mentoring: helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a longer term career relationship from someone who has ‘done it before’

Counseling: is the process of helping an individual to improve performance by resolving situations from the past.

Every event that occurs in coaching is tied to activities in someone’s head. (Some people may argue that coaching is more “heart based.” Whatever your perspective is on this, consider that emotions have correlates in the brain too.) This means that a brain-based approach should underpin and explain every good coaching model and provide the field with an underpinning science. A brain-based approach is going to be inclusive and bring the disparate field to greater cohesion.

Second, a brain-based approach to coaching looks attractive when you think about the other contenders for a foundational discipline, the obvious one being psychology. From an organizational perspective, psychology suffers from a mixed history and a perception of being unscientific. While psychologists are the first people called on if someone is in crisis, most senior leaders would not consider them for improving performance because of the bias they assume psychologists have for therapeutic languages and models. A brain-based approach on the other hand is something tangible and physical. We live in a materialistic world where organizations respect things that can be measured. To bring about the wide- scale use of coaching as a learning or transformation tool, we need to speak to organizations in a language they understand. [4]

The main reason it may be time to build a brain-based approach to coaching is simply how profoundly useful this approach is. It is interesting to be able to explain in scientific terms why the brain needs coaches, but it is even more useful to know how coaching helps the brain improve its functioning. This points us to ways we can better measure, manage and deliver coaching initiatives, whether one to one, training internal coaches, or in teaching coaching skills to thousands of leaders. [4]

When to choose coaching and mentoring

For the management of any organization it is very important to choose between the activities of coaching and mentoring, their always remain some space for the improvement in organization, but the selection of activities of coaching or mentoring largely depends on the nature of the improvement that the management wants in organization, or the weaknesses they feel and want to overcome on.

The below table shows information regarding coaching and mentoring and will provide idea to the management of the organization on what to chose and when to chose.

Mentoring may be best when….

Coaching may be best when….

The employee needs an expert or sponsor

The employee will benefit from specific knowledge about the organization’s culture, values, and norms, especially when the information is informal and difficult to obtain from traditional sources

The employee is reasonably clear about their career and developmental goals

The employee will be helped by receiving direction

The employee is a senior or more experienced leader; or where developmental issues may require strict confidentiality

There is a strong desire or need to practice, apply, or implement new skills and behaviors, and excellent complement to traditional training.

The employee realizes there is a gap between where they are and where they want to be (skills, knowledge, career, achievement, etc), but isn’t sure how to address it

The employee will be helped by sustained, objective support

Skills required for good coach and mentor

Getting people to change is becoming increasingly important in our rapidly changing work environment. The dominant view of organizational leaders is that getting people to change just requires information and the right motivation: we need to know what has to be changed, and then use incentives to inspire people to behave differently. This is a reductionist perspective, which works well in any linear system: if a machine breaks down, we work out logically where the source of the problem is, and then simply replace the part. However, if the “thing broken” is someone’s communication style, finding this out and trying to “replace the part” is not realistic. In fact, the more information we have about a human problem, the deeper the problem may become. [5]

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The above discussion shows the complication of the process of coaching and mentoring, that both of these are not an easy task to do, and it often requires skills, abilities and experience in the relevant field for the person who is going to take the position as coach or mentor in the organization. The skills required by a coach or mentor also depends on the field in which he / she is going to provide the mentoring or coaching facility, following is brief description of the most popular skills required by a coach and mentor in order to fully satisfy the needs of his / her job role.

Skills required for good coach

As coaching is a very structures and organized activity in each and every organization, so the person who is to be called “coach” must be having enough skills and abilities to organize people, lead people, and plan well in order to improve the humans skills and abilities and also to overcome on their weaknesses. Following are core skills to be found in a good coach.

Must be able to provide facilitate clarification of the goal

Available to employees all the time to guide them from a start point to the finish

Maintain a threshold to keep focus/track

Provide sufficient knowledge and help to employees that they may overcome on hurdles in pursuit of the goal.

Strong Interpersonal Skills

Technical Competence



A Non-judgmental Attitude

Belief in Lifelong Learning

Skill at Providing Instructional Support

Good Listening Skills

Skills required for a Mentor

As mentoring is more focused on individual relations in organization, normally this relation exits between an experienced and new staff member, the experienced member of staff is normally called as mentor, so the requirements from mentor is that he / she must have enough experience to work for that organization, and have all the related data and information on the products, services, and structure of the organization.

A successful mentor should have the following skills

Able to corrects mistakes

Acts as a personal cheering squad

Guides in improving the future

Provides counsel and wisdom

Supports the journey from fantasy to reality

Provokes thought and wider perspectives

Leadership behaviors and styles

The activities and processes of coaching and mentoring needs the role of leader in organization who initiate the process, set the targets for it, and then plan the procedures to achieve the targets by proper coaching and mentoring activities, and during these activities also evaluate the process and its success by setting milestones, and motivate their team members and employees towards the achievement of their career and organization business objectives.

Coaching and mentoring are two personal development methods that nurture a person’s own abilities in order to improve behavior and performance. The processes of coaching and mentoring are similar insofar as they are both a series of conversations (spoken or written) between two individuals. However, there are subtle but significant differences in aim, emphasis and style. Coaching tends to be viewed as more task-oriented, skills-focused, directed and time-bound, whereas mentoring is more focused on open-ended personal development. The reality is that there is considerable convergence and overlap between these approaches. To get the best out of mentoring and coaching, we need to start by exploring their origin, evolution and application to leadership development. [6]

The achievement of organizational goals largely depends on the humans working for that organization organizes different activities and the results of those activities depends on how much they are dedicated towards those activities and how much the organization staff members are motivated. The word motivation is common in everyday language, but is not easy to define rigorously in a scientific context. The concept of motivation is related to, but distinct from other concepts, such as instincts, drives, and reflexes. Motivated behavior is usually goal oriented; the goal may be associated with a drive such as hunger or thirst (called primary motivation). However, motivation is also closely tied to sensory stimuli: an animal will not usually exhibit eating behavior unless food is presented. Unlike instinctive behavior, motivation depends on affect (emotional state). Finally, motivation can be learned (in which case it is called secondary motivation) and typically elicits more complex behaviors than simple reflexes.

Motivation theories and coaching / mentoring

There are so many motivation theories by different management writer; the focus of each and every motivational theory is on the fulfillments of the needs of individual working for that organization and through highly motivated humans the achievement of the organizational goals. In this part of the assignment I will focus only on one motivational theory (Hull theory) which is very closely related to the gaining motivation of employees through different activities of coaching and mentoring.

Hulls Theory

Hull’s theory provides a framework within which motivated behavior can be analyzed. Hull (1943) proposed that “the initiation of learned, or habitual, patterns of movement or behavior is called motivation.” In addition, Hull proposed a distinction between primary motivation, the evocation of action in relation to primary needs, and secondary motivation, the evocation of action in relation to secondary reinforcing stimuli or incentives. Primary motivation is the cornerstone of Hull’s drive reduction theory. According to Hull, events that threaten survival give rise to internal drive states, and behaviors that act to reduce drive are thus rewarding. For instance, lack of food causes an increase in the hunger drive, and the consumption of food is rewarding because it leads to a reduction in the hunger drive.

In our daily experiences we are faced with a continuously fluctuating combination of multiple drives and incentives. Somehow we must be able to select the behavior that is most appropriate in a given situation, while suppressing other, less adequate behaviors. Thus, motivated behavior requires a form of competition. According to Hull, at any given time the behavior with the greatest potential to reduce a given drive is released. If the drive persists, that behavior is inhibited, and the second strongest response in the drive hierarchy will be released, and so on.

The concept of the Hulls theory shows that organization can get the benefits of the employee’s skills and knowledge about the job role if that employee is highly motivated, and motivation can only be gained through proper process of coaching and mentoring activities.

Assignment Task 2

The requirements from this task are to measure and critical evaluate the current academic debate, and also a critical reflection of the learning during this course and assignment.

Evaluation of academic debate

We have described motivation as the internal force that energizes behaviors, and that determines which particular behavior will be emitted in response to a given set of environmental stimuli and to the internal needs of an organism. Motivation is a complex topic of research that has been studied from many different approaches.

During this coursework I come across the different areas of management which focuses on the development of human resources in the organizations in order to achieve the organization goals and objectives, coaching and mentoring are the two most important activities in this regard which are most widely used and practiced in different organizations. The theories of different management writers have declare the motivation as the key factor in getting human involve in the activities of the organization which will not only results in the betterment of the individual skills and learning but also make the organization goals achievements realistic one.

The academic debate during this course was very enough to meet the requirements in proper way and make the students able to understand the core of the issues which influences organization business and why they need to have an individual or group of individuals as coach and mentor in the organization and they use different motivation concepts in order to motivate the organization staff to get the desired results of the process.

The nature of coaching and mentoring activities also depend largely on the size and structure of the organization, the nature of their business, the products and services they produce and how much they are focused on the personal and professional skills development of the humans working for them. These activities help in micro skills development, and the micro-skills of coaching include helping the manager develop the skills and attitudes to help and individual manage situations from within their own resources (Egan, 2004). During this stage of the training, the individual is introduced to the concepts of Empathy, Respect and Genuineness.

Reflection on academic learning

During this module I come across different concepts of human resource development in the organization, how to motivate individuals working for organization, how the management of the organization implement different management theories in order to get the desired results of the activities like coaching and mentoring, the process of human resource development and motivation, that how an individual working for or on the behalf of the organization can be motivated to put their hundred percent in performing their job role and focusing toward their personal and professional skills development, and through the proper use of their skills and knowledge the achievement of their organizational goals and objectives, while the employees must understand the importance of the coaching and mentoring activities which the management of the organization conduct for them and actively participate in those activities for their own personal and professional skills development, and learn the knowledge and information which will make them able to perform their job role very efficient and effectively.

Conclusion and Recommendations

To achieve the business goals and organizational objectives organizations use the different approaches which are discussed in very detail in this assignment. In this part the conclusion is given of the overall debate some recommendations for organization management who wish to improve the standard of coaching and mentoring in their organizations.

Coaching had its origins in the world of sports, with coaches helping competitors to achieve success through structured and focused instruction and tutoring. In the 1980s, executives of major companies realized the potential a coaching-style intervention could have in helping them to work more effectively. Such approaches also permeated the development world. In the 1990s the Community Development Resource Association (CDRA) in South Africa was using such an approach as part of its development practitioner formation programs.

Mentoring has been practiced in different cultures for hundreds of years. But it is only recently that mentoring has been (re)discovered by the private sector, and now by the civil society sector, as a mechanism for leadership development. The origin of mentoring can be traced back to Greek mythology. When Odysseus left home to fight in the Trojan War, he placed an old, trusted family friend, Mentor, in charge of his household, thereby delegating responsibility for protecting and educating his son Telemachus. A mentor therefore conjures up images of a wise and trusted advisor or counselor. Some African scholars make the point that such roles were commonplace in Africa long before ancient Greek civilization.

The extensive literature on coaching and mentoring reveals no single definition of either term, but rather a collection of definitions that help form a picture of what the processes involve. Much of the literature explores different models that can be used and adapted by coaches and mentors, depending on their personal style and their situation. According to many definitions, while coaching and mentoring share the same principles, coaching is primarily focused on performance within the current job and emphasizes development tools, while mentoring focuses on longer-term goals and developing capability.

The word motivation is common in everyday language, but is not easy to define rigorously in a scientific context. The concept of motivation is related to, but distinct from other concepts, such as instincts, drives, and reflexes. Motivated behavior is usually goal oriented; the goal may be associated with a drive such as hunger or thirst (called primary motivation).

Those organizations who wish to improve the standard of their human resources through structured process of coaching and mentoring, I will suggest the following in light of what I studied during this course and preparation of the assignment.

Try to make the human resource management department well structured and influential on the decision making regarding human development in the organization.

Hire only those individuals as coach or mentor in the organization who have past track record of working in such organization environment.

Satisfy the needs of the human resources in order to make them highly motivated.

Motivated employees can only focus towards their personal and professional skills development and can contribute to the goals and objective achievement of the organization.

The organization needs to invest in their human resource, and this investment will lead them to become the market leader in their product and services.

The management should always identify the weak areas and the need for coaching or mentoring, and the employees should fully cooperate with the management to achieve the best of results from the process.

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