Learn Coaching & Mentoring, including Free Tutorials • Discoverology
27 items | 245m read

Ultimate Learning Guide To Coaching & Mentoring

7m read | Introduction
Ultimate Learning Guide To Coaching & Mentoring

We all catch ourselves at a crossroads in life. We need to decide where we’re going to go, and which opportunities are best left alone. These aren’t easy decisions, especially when it comes to business and job opportunities. There are quite a few things for us to take into consideration. For example, when starting a career, we want to know if that particular path is the one best suited for us. Following a career path is a lifelong decision and will lead us into other big decisions. Should you leave your home state?

That may mean leaving your family and friends behind. It may mean starting fresh and dealing with a phase of solitude and financial struggle while you get on your feed. These are hard questions to ask and in many cases, the people who can best answer these questions are coaches and mentors. But who are they and how do we find them or even become one of them? This guide will help you understand who they are and how to become a successful coach or mentor.

What is Coaching?

In a general sense, coaching is the action of unlocking a person’s potential to increase their own performance. Coaching someone is helping them to learn to do something rather than merely teaching them. It’s an interactive process through which supervisors and managers try to solve performance problems and/or help their employees develop their capabilities.

The Coach Process

In the coaching process, there is an emotional bond that’s being developed. Between two people, this bond will bring to light what is called an individual challenge. This challenge makes the individual look beyond the call of their duties. In the process of doing so, they’ll learn to sharpen their inner voice. This process is meant to have a positive effect on the individual’s mindset.

From there, the coaching process turns to technical help. During the coaching process, there is a lot of technical help given to the individual. There is also a lot of personal support as well. The goal is to help the person get over their inhibitions.

One of the things that people believe when it comes to the coaching process is that it’s difficult. It’s not. It’s actually quite simple. It’s a guidance process. The process helps the individual to not be overtaken by their internal critical voice. The process helps you to overcome this voice, which can limit your point of view on things. It helps to give you a broader perspective on things. It’s a common problem in society for people to greatly limit themselves by limiting their own minds. Coaching helps to break down this process.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring can be defined as when someone helps someone else learn something. In doing so, they help the person learn it easier. He or she would have learned the process less well or more slowly. In some cases, the mentee could have not learned the information at all, had the mentor not intervened.

The Mentoring Process

Both mentoring and coaching share a similar process. With mentoring, however, you’re teaching someone something that they already know. Many of these individuals are already motivated to move forward. The mentor’s position is to help the individual step of their game. What’s great about mentoring is that it is an informal process. Mentoring helps to develop knowledge that sticks. It helps to internalize the learning process in the individual. If the individual was left to their own devices, chances are they wouldn’t be doing it on their own. It’s about inspiring and motivating them.

Mentoring versus Coaching

There are certain differences when it comes to mentoring and coaching. For mentoring, there is a need for strategic focus. In general, this means that the parties involved will zero in on a specific goal and attempt to achieve it. Coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on skills. The goal in coaching is usually to help sharpen a person’s skill set. Mentoring tends to be a confidential affair. Coaching is more open-ended. The reason being is that coaching is individually focused. You’re trying to learn the person inside and out. You’re trying to learn what motivates them and what learning techniques work best for them. Coaches learn about the person’s professional and personal life in hopes of helping them overcome their inhibitions and achieve success.

Mentors usually don’t have a personal agenda. If there is an agenda there, it isn’t for the mentor.  The mentor’s focus is on the individual; they want you to achieve your goals. Coaches don’t always have a personal agenda but can in some circumstances. Coaches usually are people who are paid to help. They, therefore, have a monetary reason for doing it. There are coaching fees involved. Mentoring is more of an unpaid endeavor. In many cases, mentors are mentoring because they want to.

Mentors are less inclined to link their own success to that of their mentee. Mentors aren’t taking credit for the successes of their mentees. They were merely the hand that was guiding the person, not directing the person to a specific location. This is where the need for self-motivation on the mentee’s behalf comes into play. While coaches may not always link the successes to themselves, it is more common for them to link it. If a coachee as done well and has achieved the goals, there may be mention of this by the coach. This is especially true for those who are paid to coach people. Their income is arguably tied to the success of their coachees. If they’ve had a high success rate, coaches will be sought out more often.

Who is in the driver’s seat is also different between mentoring and coaching. A mentee is the one who is driving in the mentor/mentee relationship. Their motivation is what helps to propel them forward. Coaching, to some extent, has the coach in the driver’s seat. However, the individual being coached must want to learn. As the saying goes: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

The Steps of Coaching

Coaching can be broken down into five simple steps:

1) Assessment

In this stage, you’re considering if you need a coach. Asking yourself a few questions can help: Are you satisfied with where you are in your life?

Are you happy with your professional or personal life?

Are you okay with the way things are going?

Are you using your full potential?

If the answers are “no,” or you find yourself wanting more than chances are you may want to seek out a coach.

2) Goal setting

You’ll need to set a goal for yourself. Goals are important because they help us achieve what we’re seeking to change in ourselves. They are the difference between success and failure. Goals should be smart, meaning they’re goals that are measurable, doable, and time-bound. Goals give your life direction.

3) Planning

Once you know your goal, it’s time to make a plan. Planning means planning out your life accordingly. Consider what resources you might need to make these goals happen. What money will you need? What people will you need to surround yourself with? What type of support will you need? The best way to make a plan is to do it logically and structurally.

4) Taking action

Once you have your plan, it’s time to put it into action. Execute your plan of action. Action is not just taking action but also being conscious of when you’re taking action. You’re actively engaging with your goals and crossing them off as you go. You’re also making adjustments if they’re needed. For instance, if your goal is still too vague, it’s helpful to reevaluate it and then break it down into smaller, more achievable goals.

5) Reaching your goal

Ultimately, as long as you keep yourself on track, you will reach your goal. At this point, you’re able to relish in the excitement that comes from breaking the chain of thoughts that plagued you beforehand.

The Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring

Stronger coping skills

Jobs come with a lot of stress. We spend, on average, more time at work than we do at home. One of the common reasons that people leave a job is because they couldn’t cope with the stress that comes with it. Coaching and mentoring not only help you become a better version of yourself in the workplace, but also teach you how to deal with the stresses that come up. For instance, if you’re in a customer service job position, coaching or mentoring can help you not take the ire of customers personally, and teach you how to let the stresses of the workplace not follow you home.

A better understanding of yourself

For the mentee and coachee, the process of improving their individual skills is a very personal journey. Not only are they learning about their position but they’re learning about themselves. They learn what motivates them to wake up and face the day. They learn about what makes them laugh, cry, and how to avoid situations that may be overwhelming. They learn to tap into their wise mind.

Potential for growth in a company

Learning more about your role and then excelling at it opens up the doors for more opportunities. Your boss may see how well you’re doing in your current job and will keep that in mind when another position opens up in the company.

“Paying it forward”

For mentors and coaches, the most fulfilling part of the job is seeing how the person grows. Philosophically speaking, we should all pay it forward. If you choose to mentor or coach someone, you’re doing just that. You’re helping to spread positivity in the world, and in doing so will make yourself feel better as well.

About This Coaching & Mentoring Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about coaching and mentoring from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

13 items | 83m read
4m watch | Basics

How Coaching Works

A four-minute animated movie that shows how the coaching process works.

4m read | Basics

Why Coaching and Mentoring is Important

Coaching and mentoring have become increasingly necessary in today’s time. It is being used for both personal and professional development. Mentoring/Coaching helps to build a positive and concrete change in individuals and to boost the transfer of knowledge from the coach/mentor to the individual.

6m read | Basics

The Benefits of Coaching & Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring an employee makes them more valuable to your organization by developing and enhancing their skills—both professionally and personally. By being interested in the growth of your staff, you’re showing them that you care about their progress. And this can increase their loyalty to you.

3m read | Basics

Mentoring Versus Coaching: What’s the Difference?

Sometimes people use the words “mentoring” and “coaching” interchangeably, but they do not describe the same type of working relationship. Both share basic organizational goals including employee learning and development that leads to peak performance, and the realization of full potential. However, the definition, focus, role, approach, and tools of each are different.

20m read | Basics

Effective and Ineffective Characteristics of a Mentor

Now that you understand what mentoring is and how it supports an individual in their personal and professional development, we will examine the definition, role and characteristics of a mentor and a mentee.

A mentor facilitates personal and professional growth in an individual by sharing the knowledge and insights that they learned through the years. A mentor’s purpose is to be a role model, a coach, a broker, and an advocate.

4m read | Basics

Teaching, Mentoring, Coaching and Counselling

There are a variety of roles, both formal and informal, which involve helping or supporting someone else’s learning. They include teaching, coaching and mentoring, as well as counselling.

4m read | Basics

The Most Important Coaching and Mentoring Skills

Usually coaches and mentors are part of the management in the organization. Being such, they ought to have the right leadership qualities. Leaders are equipped with skills that make their coaching sessions effective and successful. Furthermore, the staff or the employees look up to their coaches as role models. An effective coach or mentor should have various skills and these abilities will be outlined in this article.

6m read | Basics

Types of Mentoring Relationship

Mentoring is so much more than that. A good mentoring relationship should be bilateral, genuine and consistent. Above all, I think it is also important to recognise what you need a mentor for. Which area of your career do you need advice on? How can they help you? What do you have to offer?

5m read | Basics

Types of Coaching

The term coaching typically refers to methods of helping others to improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success, achieve aims and to manage life change and personal challenges. Coaching commonly addresses attitudes, behaviors, skills and knowledge, as well as career goals and aspirations, and can also focus on physical and spiritual development too.

7m read | Basics

Directive Coaching and Non-Directive Coaching

If you’re considering creating a coaching culture in your organization, the first step is deciding the type of coaching you will be using and teaching to your employees.

8m read | Basics

The GROW Model of Coaching and Mentoring

GROW stands for:

Current Reality.
Options (or Obstacles).
Will (or Way Forward).

The model was originally developed in the 1980s by business coaches Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore.

7m read | Basics

Corporate Mentoring vs Performance Management

In the world of talent management, words like coaching, mentoring, and performance management are often misused. Why? All three are processes for development–processes that share common goals. But what’s different about these processes is how they work and achieve the goals.

5m read | Basics

Defining The Roles and Importance of Mentoring and Coaching

Mentoring and coaching are instrumental parts of the learning and development strategy of many organizations these days, and have been proven to be effective in terms of engaging, developing, and retaining talent. They are both integral tools in helping talent navigate their work and development within an organization.

6 items | 65m read
16m read | Advanced

Benefits of Life Coaching & Mentoring

A life coach can help a person to identify strengths, develop them, and identify personal and professional goals. Their role is to assist the coachee throughout the change process. As you will discover, this happens in several ways.

A mentor’s focus is partly on compatibility with the mentee. The mentor and mentee might engage with each other through social or professional events to determine ‘fit.’

8m read | Advanced

Common Issues in Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs provide a malleable solution to any talent development problem. They can be used in any size organization with any number of participants. Mentoring also provides solutions to certain organizational problems such as how to retain employees and how to improve employee engagement.

However, mentoring programs are not always flawlessly executed and effortlessly maintained. Here are 6 common problems in mentoring programs and how to prevent them.

12m read | Advanced

How to Mentor Ethically

Mentoring the next generation of psychologists is one of the most important contributions you can make to the field. Here’s how to avoid ethical pitfalls while ensuring your mentees’ professional and academic success.

10m read | Advanced

Doing More With Less Training Budget

Retaining and developing talent to achieve growth and competitive advantage need to be balanced against over-stretched budgets and ever-growing demands on employees’ time. But the question is whether coaching and mentoring deliver timely and positive interventions that provide real value, or whether it simply amounts to training on the cheap.

12m read | Advanced

Strategies to Ensure Coaching Success

Implementing an effective coaching program in your organization is your new competitive edge that will determine whether you win or lose in today’s highly competitive market. These five additional strategies will help develop the foundation needed to ensure coaching success.

7m read | Advanced

Effective Coaching Strategies

An effectively managed team is like a well-oiled machine: when employees are on the same page and determined to meet the same goals, a company improves its chances of building customer loyalty, out-shining the competition, and boosting the bottom line. However, like a car with misfiring gaskets, a company with employees who lack proper leadership tends to falter when it comes to achieving objectives of any kind.

7 items | 90m read
15m read | Expert

How to Start a Successful Mentoring Program

A thriving, impactful mentoring program is within your reach. But great mentoring programs don’t just happen. They are built through thoughtful planning and sustained commitment to guiding participants through the mentoring process while continually improving the program. Read on to learn the five-step process to create a high-impact mentoring program.

4m read | Expert

How to be an Effective Mentor

Mentoring also helps you view the organization with a fresh eye toward its functions, politics and culture. You may, for example, gain a new understanding of how people from different generations or backgrounds approach their work and careers. Also, many mentors say they get personal satisfaction and fulfillment from their mentoring relationships. If you’re feeling burned out or cynical, mentoring can give you and your career a boost.

What does it take to become an effective mentor?

25m read | Expert

Mentoring Best Practices

Mentoring is usually a formal or informal relationship between two people—a senior mentor (usually outside the protégé’s chain of supervision) and a junior protégé. Mentoring has been identified as an important influence in professional development in both the public and private sector. Successful mentoring programs require proper understanding, planning, implementation and evaluation.

10m read | Expert

Companies with Solid Mentorship Programs

Realizing that young workers crave mentorship, a growing number of companies have begun offering the latter. Such programs are in the company’s best interest as much as yours: Millennials who say they want to stay with a company for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor than not, according to a recent study by Deloitte.

So, if you want to benefit from the wisdom of seasoned professionals—without having to beg those seasoned pros to work with you—check out these 10 companies with solid mentorship programs.

16m read | Expert

Corporate Mentorship Program Case Studies

The most recognizable organizations in the world see mentorship as a competitive advantage. When I hear about large-scale mentorship programs, I immediately think about Google, Facebook, and Apple. That was until I read in a study from the American Society for Training and Development, that 70% of Fortune 500 companies boast formal and informal mentorship opportunities. That means it’s not just tech companies that prioritize mentorship.

10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Coaching & Mentoring Books

Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills That Transform Individuals, Teams, and Organizations. In this guide, you will acquire the skills to coach your personnel from the ground up, maximizing their potential on a personal level, as members of the team, and as contributors to the organization as a whole. Transform your business relationships (and your business) with this comprehensive tool for optimizing productivity, profitability, loyalty, and customer focus.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever. Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples’ potential. He unpacks seven essential coaching questions to demonstrate how–by saying less and asking more–you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.

Mentoring 101 by John C. Maxwell. In Mentoring 101, John C. Maxwell guides readers in the art of mentoring by explaining how to choose the right person to mentor, how to create the right environment for leaders to thrive and grow, how to help people become better, and how to overcome the most intimidating hurdle of all: getting started.

Co-Active Coaching: The proven framework for transformative conversations at work and in life. The flexible Co-Active Coaching model showcased in the book has stood the test of time as a transformative communication process that co-workers and teammates, managers, teachers, and students can use to build strong and collaborative relationships.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Coaching & Mentoring Courses

Coaching Skills for Managers. In this course, you will learn the essential skills to coach people for improved performance. You will learn from Executive Coach and UC Davis Instructor Kris Plachy, who has created and transformed dozens of teams through coaching. She will share best practices, research, tools and models for coaching effectively.

Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change. Coaching can inspire and motivate people to learn, change, and be effective leaders, among other roles in life. Although most attempts are “coaching for compliance”, decades of behavioral and neuroscience research show us that “coaching with compassion” is more effective.

Be a Great Mentor: A Practical Guide to Mentorship. This course will help you prepare to be a Great Mentor. You will learn how to: Get clarity on the value you bring as a mentor, Identify and select your ideal mentee, Build your mentoring skills, Overcome common obstacles to mentoring relationships.

Coaching Managers & Leaders for Continuous Improvement. This course is focused on coaching current leaders or managers within an organization to improve performance, develop new habits, and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement. This course is designed to prepare managers to coach both their own team members and to coach peer managers.

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