Mentoring And Coaching For Professionals

In recent years there has been a significant rise in the demand for mentors and coaches. The driving forces behind this are: executives, managers and other specialists are increasingly expected to demonstrate that they are undertaking significant professional development; the workplace and business employment environment is becoming even more competitive; the influence of the emerging industrial nations is forcing radical changes in the skill mix required of managers and other professionals in the developed countries; the diversity of personal and professional skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to be successful in today’s global business environment. As this demand has increased, so has the diversity of roles played and the range of services offered. Indeed, there are so many variations and combinations of mentoring and coaching, that it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between them and almost impossible to categorise the variations available.

Workplace mentoring is, despite appearances, a structured, organised, element of the organisation’s training and development activity. It is, however, usually quite separate from organised training activities and from the formal appraisal process carried out by the line-manager. This formal, hierarchical relationship that exists between a person and their line-manager is usually not a suitable vehicle for a mentoring relationship. Mentoring generally takes the form of a confidential, one to one relationship, where a more senior person, at least one position higher than the line-manager of the person being mentored, helps a more junior one to make progress, usually as part of a planned development programme, such as management fast-tracking, preparing for a more senior post, or leading a phase of workplace activity, such as a project. The mentor offers guidance and advice, in a supportive and non-threatening manner, but in a format and style which is designed by the organisation’s human resource department and then monitored by that department. The aim is to provide the recipient with support that will enable them to move forward confidently and to achieve their personal workplace objectives and also the objectives set for them by the organisation.

In an organisational setting, coaching has traditionally been part of the supervisory role played by line-managers, or more experienced employees, who show less experienced colleagues how to carry out an activity, or set of activities, competently. This is by default part of the cyclical process of developing an individual’s skills, evaluating their performance, appraising their progress, carried out by the line manager. If the line manager does not carry out the coaching personally, they will have arranged for an experienced employee, usually within the same team as the person being coached, to deliver the coaching. In this context, coaching is, in effect, the teaching of a skill until the skill is learnt and can be consistently performed, independently, to the required standard. Although the majority of this type of coaching is delivered by people who are more experienced, it is not always the case that they are more senior. Often, because the coach is explaining or demonstrating a skill, or process, the coach can be a younger person, but someone who is capable of passing on their skills to others who are less experienced in that activity.

Today, the traditional roles of mentors and coaches can still be seen in action. However, in many organisations, and particularly in most business sectors apart from the heavy industries and manufacturing, there has been considerable change. The main changes have been in the widening of the range of coaching approaches and the merging of mentoring and coaching into one approach, generally under the title of Coaching. Despite the best efforts of some academics and management gurus, senior managers in some organisations, and the human resource purists, the terms mentor and coaching, and the roles, are now used interchangeably in many business sectors. The main reason for this is that individuals are demanding and expecting their mentor-coach to have a wide range of skills that encompasses the best features of both categories. Many organisations are also establishing mentor-coaching systems that also combine the best practices of both. The result is that, increasingly, the terms are in effect synonymous, and what one individual or organisation will label as Mentor, another will label as Coach.

Also, many individuals are arranging to work with a personal coach, whose role is a combination of mentor and coach. This is similar to the relationship between a sports person, for example athlete, and their persona coach, and that between individuals and their personal fitness trainer. In the business and professional development world, the result is a hybrid of mentoring and coaching that most people now label as Personal Coaching.

The ideal mentor is a person who has been trained in mentoring techniques, and has a blend of appropriate work experience, qualifications, and general business knowledge, that can be used to guide and advise a particular mentee. In addition it is very important that the mentor is a person who has an enthusiasm, if not a passion, for helping others to develop, fulfil their potential, and achieve their and the organisation’s objectives.

The ideal coach is a person who has been trained in coaching techniques, has a broad range of experience and expertise, has knowledge and understanding of current business activity and trends, and an understanding of how an individual’s career and professional development should be tailored in order to assist that person in being successful in achieving their development objectives.

As can be seen, there great similarities in the two roles, and, as a result, the differences are virtually indistinguishable and they are now frequently combined. Both are expected to have appropriate knowledge and experience, both must be skilled in: listening actively; communication techniques; being able to understand the work and personal environment of the person being coached; building a rapport and developing a relationship; asking appropriate questions; directing the coachee to other sources of help when appropriate; identifying, agreeing and setting goals; helping to devise action plans to achieve the goals; helping to monitor and make adjustments to the plans; and finally, knowing when it is time to end the relationship.

A coach works with individuals and organisations to help them to achieve higher levels of performance and-or specific goals. The coach will, by necessity, take into account past performance and events, but focuses on actions and goals for the future. The approach is action oriented, focusing on where the client is now, where they want to be in the future, and how best to get them there. This framework is familiar to those involved in strategic planning or project management, as it is the foundation of both. The coach takes this simple, structured approach, and builds on it to develop a plan of action that will enable them to help their client achieve their objectives.

For individuals, the benefits can be many, including helping the individual to: avoid making mistakes in their business or personal lives; achieve more, in less time; minimise current problems; effectively prepare for potential difficulties; be happier with their personal and-or work life; achieve career or personal development targets; change career or career direction; become more effective and influential in all areas of their life; be more attractive to others, in their career and professional development and-or their personal life.

For organisations, the benefits are similar. They include: learning from a person who has a broad range of knowledge; obtaining independent, unbiased, objective, advice and guidance; gaining improvements to productivity, quality levels, customer satisfaction, shareholder value; gaining increased commitment and satisfaction levels in operational and management staff; improved staff retention; supporting other training and development activity; visible evidence that the organisation is committed to developing and improving; establishing an effective process for organisational development.

The role of mentoring and coaching has changed radically over recent years. However, the changes are generally accepted as being positive ones, and today coaches are accepted as an integral feature of the development process, both for individuals and for organisations. As always, great care must be taken to ensure that the coach and any process that is undertaken is appropriate for the particular client, but with this caveat, it is now clear that coaches have an important role to play in the development of individuals and organisations in today’s business world. As the pace of change and the complexity of business activity increases, it is certain that coaches will continue to play a key role in helping individuals and organisations manage that change and complexity more effectively.

Learn How Much Your Business Is Worth With The Help Of Business Valuation Experts

Painting an accurate picture of your business requires the services business valuation specialists who combine experience and science in recognising the value of both tangible and intangible assets. A business valuation professional provides a clear view of a business’ financial affairs and tactical functional activities so that clients can comprehend the actual value of their company as a whole.

Why is business valuation service essential?

It is essential that the company owner comprehend entirely the worth or worth of their business. Also, it is likewise crucial for business owners, gigantic or small, to identify the factors which increase the value of their company, too, to find out how values alter based on different factors that have a direct or indirect effect on a business.

Business valuation firms partners with business owners, experts, and even attorneys to produce a meaningful and comprehensive valuation report. A thorough business valuation report needs to be easily comprehended by customers and other end users. Business valuation report ought to likewise be accurate under contentious and non-contentious conditions.

What kinds of services work valuation firms provide?

A validated business valuation agency must be able to deliver efficient reports for the following circumstances:

  • Personalised valuation viewpoints and expert statement in both regional and global disputes
  • Valuations for startups that will help in the settlement of equity ownership to sell and calculate the real worth of equity throughout the crucial capital raising period
  • Gather and process business data to come up with approaches to sufficiently increase the worth of a business, determine sales capability and channels, and evaluate company and liquidation expenditures
  • Monetary restructuring and owner structure transformation process

A business valuation report facilitated by a validated business valuation business will be a big help for central business authorities when making significant economic and financial investment decisions. Professional and reasonable suggestions from valuation professionals regarding critical areas of operation will assist increase efficiency, success, and longevity with time.

The laborious process of business valuation requires a firm grasp on how value is created and can be increased in the future. The proficiency of business valuation firms assists executives and other authorities in establishing a sound and strategic business choices that will further grow a company’s capacity for development.

Coaching Leaders – 6 Reasons Some Executives Give Up

How do you help leaders succeed? Give them some coaching, that’s the widely accepted solution. Then why do some executives give up on coaching programs designed to help them improve?

Executive coaching offers a tremendous opportunity to leverage leadership talent and resources. Coaching is no longer reserved for problem leaders. It is more frequently sought by top performers whose organizations value their management and growth potential. Yet, sometimes coaching programs just don’t work.

Why Leaders Give Up

When it comes to change, some leaders lose motivation and fail to “stick with the program.” Marshall Goldsmith, the renowned executive coach who has worked with many Fortune 100 leaders, reports on several reasons why leaders give up. Regardless of the coach’s competence, failure to achieve goals may occur for several reasons:

1. Ownership: The more leaders feel the process is being imposed upon them or that they are just casually “trying it out,” the less likely the coaching process will work. If leaders are simply “playing games,” with no clear commitment, their bosses must be willing to discontinue the coaching process—for the good of both the company and the coaching profession.

2. Time: Goal setters have a natural tendency to underestimate the time needed to reach targets. Busy, impatient leaders can be even more time-sensitive than the general population. Ordinarily, our behavior changes long before our coworkers perceive any change.

3. Difficulty: Goal setters’ optimism applies to difficulty, as well as time. Not only does everything take longer than we think; it also requires hard work! Long-term change in leadership effectiveness takes real effort. For example, it can be challenging for busy, opinionated leaders to have the discipline to stop and listen patiently while others say things they may not want to hear.

4. Distractions: Leaders have a tendency to underestimate the distractions and competing goals that will invariably surface in any given year. By planning for distractions in advance, leaders can set realistic expectations for change and, consequently, will be less likely to renounce the change process.

5. Rewards: Leaders tend to become disappointed when achievement of one goal doesn’t immediately translate into achievement of other goals. If leaders think skills improvement will quickly lead to short-term profits, promotions or recognition, they may become disappointed and give up when these things fail to materialize instantaneously.

6. Maintenance: Once a leader has put forth the effort required to achieve a goal, it can be tough to maintain behaviors that incorporate the new changes. Leaders must recognize that professional development is an ongoing process, with a lifelong commitment. Leadership involves relationships—and relationships and people change. Maintaining positive relationships requires long-term effort.

Coaching can be daunting for some leaders, as they must be willing to be vulnerable and open. It is exhilarating for those who embrace it and commit to change. Unlike management science or academic theory, coaching is an exciting interpersonal journey.

Coaches and their clients form strong bonds built on trust, openness, confidence and achievement. For coaching to work, the connection must be firm and the coaching program must operate with clear ground rules.

What Is An Executive Coach Anyway?

We at The Center for Executive Coaching like to define Executive Coaching broadly as follows:

Executive Coaching is an efficient, high-impact process that helps high-performing people in leadership roles improve results in ways that are sustained over time.

It is efficient because, unlike traditional consulting ssignments, it does not require invasive processes, large outside teams, and lengthy reports and analyses to get results.

It is a high-impact process because Executive Coaches typically work with clients in short meetings (i.e., 30 minutes per session). During this time, the coach and client can generate important insights, gain clarity, focus, and make decisions to improve performance.

Executive Coaching works with high-performing people in leadership roles. It is not therapy, meant to “fix” a person. As an Executive Coach, your clients are already highly functioning, successful people. Like any of us, they need support from time to time in order to perform better.

Finally, your goal as an Executive Coach is to improve results in ways that are sustainable over time. Your clients want some sort of outcome, usually related to improved profits, career success, organizational effectiveness, or career and personal satisfaction. If you aren’t helping your clients get results, you aren’t doing your job. At the same time, coaching is about helping people improve their own capabilities and effectiveness, so that the results and performance improvements last. To use the
time-worn and famous quote, you are teaching people to fish, not feeding them for a day.

The formal definition of a coach is very interesting, as it refers to the coach of a sports team. Many coaching programs don’t like the idea of Executive Coaches being like sports coaches. They prefer to have coaches asking lots of great questions so that the client suddenly has an “ah-ha” moment and figures things out on his or her own. While this is one perfectly acceptable form of coaching, it is not enough.

Sometimes you need to intervene, the way that a sports coach does. You need to make observations, provide tools, move the conversation forward, motivate, and sometimes give a firm kick in the pants.

You can incorporate the practices of Executive Coaching into almost any profession that works with entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and up-and-coming leaders in an organization.

For instance, if you are a management consultant, you likely already provide coaching as part of what you do. Executive Coaching is the part of the engagement where you work one-on-one with executives to encourage them to make difficult decisions, step out of their comfort zone, stop destructive behavior, embrace change, and shift performance.

For me, a long-time consultant, Executive Coaching is the fun part. It’s when you stop doing the analyses (and most of the time the client already knows the answer anyway), stop revising the PowerPoint presentation, and sit down face to face with the client to help them improve results. It’s the part of the engagement where the client turns to you as their objective, trusted advisor, as a colleague and confidant.

If you are already a “life coach,” Executive Coaching can help you put some more “meat on the bones” of your coaching content. Too many life coaches lack concrete, results-driven content that resonates with executives.

Executive Coaching combines three components that can help you take your life coaching practice to the next level: process, content, and context.

Process is the way you coach Executives, and how you structure engagements.

Content refers to your knowledge and ability to contribute insights with relevance and impact: how to communicate effectively, strategic thinking, marketing insights, operational improvement, organizational development, leadership skills, and financial management.

Context is about who you are, and who you help your client to be – namely how to help them be more effective as a leader in their organization and as a person.

Executive Coaches get involved in all three domains.

For people who offer training programs, Executive Coaching provides a new platform for you to adapt your materials. Instead of leading group programs, you can use your training materials to coach executives one-on-one. (And the reverse applies: Executive Coaches often offer training programs).

It is also important to be clear about what Executive Coaching is NOT.

Executive Coaching is not therapy. You are not fixing anybody. However, you can ask powerful questions that inquire about why a client behaves the way they do. What are their beliefs and values that might be causing them to behave the way they do? How can they embrace more empowering beliefs and values to get the results they want to get?

Likewise, Executive Coaching is not the same thing as interim management. You are not stepping in to do the job for your client. Instead, you are a “shadow leader” working behind the scenes to help your client succeed and improve in lasting ways.

Third, your job as an Executive Coach is not a “crystal ball” who magically provides an answer. As a coach, you will intervene and provide advice when appropriate. But successful coaches engage in dialogue with their clients, and then customize a tool or solution that works for their unique situation. Sometimes there is no easy answer, and your value will be to support your clients in making decisions with incomplete information.

With these definitions in mind, Executive Coaching can be an enormously rewarding and lucrative profession for the seasoned practitioner.