Today there is a pantheon of “great coaches”, the list touches every sport. Auerbach, Stevens, Wooden, Lombardi, Saben, Myers, Rivers, Fergusson, Mourino, Kryzewski, Auriemma and Summit are on the list, for sure. What is the difference between coaching, and mentoring?
Some experts share these definitions:
- Mentoring: A more informal association focused on building a two-way, mutually beneficial relationship for long-term career movement.
- Coaching: A more formal structured association focused on improvements in behavior and performance to resolve present work issues or handle specific aspects of the job.
A Forbes article offered the following: Traditionally, mentors were assigned within a company to help employees learn the ropes. In the entrepreneurial world, mentors act as advisers, compensated or not.
Mentors are successful people who share their hard-won wisdom to provide insight and guidance as an entrepreneur encounters challenges along her journey. They typically function in a reactive capacity, responding to issues as they arise. Mentors may not have expertise in the mentee’s field, but they understand how to navigate business in general.
Working as Project Leader part of our role is to Coach. One difference none of the experts shared is Coaches at times work with Individuals and Teams. Consulting Teams like business team, like sport teams bring different people, backgrounds and disciplines together. Coaches bring these diversities together into a single unit.
A recent article in Fast Company shared these questions a mentor might ask:
- Do you want/need to be an employee or a 1099?
- What does success look like?
- What is the outcome you want?
- What do you want to be different in 3-5 years?
- What are the obstacles your facing?
- What can you control?
- What are the options you’ve come up with?
- Tell me more
- What are you reading?
One Coach shared these points when discussing his recruiting selection process. He stated if you come play for me there are two things you can count on:
1. Whatever it is, whenever it is if you need my help and I can provide it you’ll get it.
2. I will always tell you the truth, let me give you two examples involving your play, The coach said, “You are playing very well.” Then he changed his tone and said, “You are playing terrible, get your head in the Game!” Finally the coach said, “Both of these things are true, The only difference is you and how you’re playing.”
Coaches in sports or in life do the following:
- Creates a safe environment in which people see themselves more clearly; the coach does this by listening, asking focused questions, reflecting back, challenging, and acknowledging the client
- Asks for more intentional thought, action, and behavior changes than the client would have asked of him or herself
- Measures results
- Clarifies goals and agreed-upon results
- Identifies gaps between where the client is and where the client needs or wants to be
- Helps develop a strong strategy and action plan to close the gap
- Understands and anticipates potential obstacles
- Guides the building of the structure, accountability, and support necessary to ensure sustained commitment.
Good coaches are teachers, not just of plays, tactics, strategies but of LIFE.