Coaching/Mentoring and Feedback - Overview

Why employ a Coach/Mentor?

Coaching and Mentoring are now considered among the most effective ways of investing in, supporting and developing people. They can help to improve motivation, confidence, relationships and quality of life generally, leading to improved performance, productivity and customer satisfaction. Coaching and mentoring can also help to generate more time for busy people, more creative ideas, strategies for success, better use of people, skills and resources, greater flexibility and adaptability to change.

What does having a Coach or Mentor involve?

  • Coaching and Mentoring are personal development activities which mainly involve you talking to your coach or mentor on a 1:1 basis over a specified period (can be short term eg 2-3 weeks or longer term eg 6-12 months).
  • The role of coach/mentor is to help you to identify your goals, work out what is stopping you achieving them, consider options for action and plan to take them forward.
  • The coach/mentor uses listening, questioning, reflecting back, giving feedback, challenging assumptions or beliefs that may be getting in the way to help you clarify your thinking, reflect on your experience and develop strategies.
  • The emphasis is on supporting you to make your own decisions and take action and is about helping develop self-belief and realise your true potential.

What’s the difference between Coaching and Mentoring?

Coaching and mentoring may have a slightly different emphasis, though there are many overlapping aspects:

  • Coaching may focus on a specific aspect of your skill, knowledge or behaviour (eg managing difficult conversations, being more effective in meetings), or a specific situation (eg recently started a new job, seeking promotion/progression, wanting to change some aspect of work/job). The main emphasis is likely to be on making change.
  • Mentoring may be more “whole person” development, often from someone who is more senior or experienced in your field. It can provide an additional form of support outside line management. It tends to be longer term, and may be offered to people who are seen as having talent or potential or are working in isolated or stressful roles or situations

How does Feedback fit into Coaching and Mentoring?

Feedback can be a powerful addition to coaching/mentoring, providing another perspective and insights into how your behaviour, words and actions impact on others and can help you understand your personal preferences, comfort zones and career motivators better.

Feedback can be provided in a number of ways, but typically, within a coaching context, this would involve direct feedback from the coach, based on their own observations either within the coaching session or in another work context.

A range of tools are available which can broaden this perspective, eg feedback on psychometric or personality profiling tools can help you understand yourself, your natural style and preferences and how you relate to others. 360º feedback is another tool that can be used to gather feedback from a range of people around you to help develop your understanding of how others perceive you, hidden strengths/weaknesses, or endorsements of how you go about things.

What is 3-way Coaching?

Three-way coaching involves you, the coach and another person, often the line manager, but it could be someone else you need to work closely with. It is an effective way of engaging the third person in agreeing priorities and objectives for your development, gaining their support and input and confirming commitment to action from all parties. It can be particularly useful at the start and end of a coaching programme to agree objectives and then review success and achievements and plan future development.

Website design by Green Eye Design