Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Coaching, Mentoring, and Change Management in a Business Environment.



Like many I have been viewing Wimbledon and more recently the World Athletics Championships. I have noted the role and responsibility of coaches towards their athletes and the goals they achieve. I have also noted that in many cases champions find that at critical points they need to change the coach and approach.

I have recently read (and highly recommend) Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg, and Nell Scovell. I note Sheryl’s view is that mentoring need not be formal, structured or necessarily agreed, but instead can be as simple as an exchange of views or advice.

This got me thinking about the role, responsibilities and accountability of coaching and mentoring in a business environment and in particular in the context of managing change.

COACHING AND MENTORING – THE DIFFERENCE

Coaching and mentoring use the same skills and approach but coaching is short term task-based and mentoring is a longer term relationship. The CIPD differentiates between coaching, mentoring and counselling.

Once the coachee successfully acquires the skills, the coach is no longer needed. Mentoring is development driven. Its purpose is to develop the individual not only for the current job, but also for the future. This distinction differentiates the role of the immediate manager and that of the mentor.

Factor
Coaching
Mentoring
Key Goals
To correct inappropriate behaviour improve performable and impact skills
To support and guide personal growth
Initiative
The coach directly directs the learning
The protégé is in charge of the learning
Volunteer
Volunteering not necessary (although agreement to participate is essential)
Mentor and Protégé volunteer
Focus
Immediate problem and opportunities
Long-term personal career development
Roles
Heavy on telling with appropriate feedback
Heavy on listening, role modelling, making suggestions and connecting
Duration
Short-term as needed
Long-term
Relationship
Coach is often the boss
Mentor is rarely the boss

See further reading below for references




APPLYING SPORT COACHING TO BUSINESS CONTEXT

As a sports coach I am used to understanding aims and methods and breaking these into processes and behaviours which I can analyse, improve and measure.

Aim and method
Win British Championships by becoming faster, stronger, better, more stamina, less injured, healthier.

Process and behaviours
May include sleeping, training, eating, resting, stretching, thinking, planning, learning. I can analyse and measure fitness, power, strength, efficiency and knowledge (of conditions, equipment, technique) and much more.

Is it possible to compare business coaching with sport coaching and hold them accountable for business performance as much as a sport coach is responsible for athletic, team, national or Olympic performance?

Is it a step too far to hold the coach accountable for delivering performance? It seems to me some people who describe themselves as coaches are actually "mentors" or "therapists”, more interested in the relationship and wellbeing of the individual and won't think of themselves as responsible for performance outcomes.

I am wondering if it is unreasonable to judge a business coach by business performance, or indeed hold a coach accountable for culture and behaviour of those they support on the basis of their coaching interventions. This is what appears to happen in sport.

Should we not have the same for business coaches?

THE CHANGE MANAGEMENT KPIS OF A BUSINESS COACH

In a business context we may have critical success factors [CSF] (clearly identified things that make a difference) and key performance indicators [KPI] (clear measures that can be applied to monitor and measure progress, improvement and performance).

In a change management environment, we might look at values and behaviours, skills and competencies all of which can be applied in a skills matrix which assess current ability and performance and necessary changes.

Is there a way we can combine CSF and KPI and matrixes above to form a structured and co-ordinated approach which aligns people and process, values and behaviours, skills and competencies sufficient to create the capacity, drive and desire to achieve the planned changes and business performance?

Feedback and Discussion Welcome.

FURTHER READING

The Differences Between Coaching & Mentoring
http://www.management-mentors.com/resources/coaching-mentoring-differences

Coaching V. Mentoring
https://www.slideshare.net/wooded01/coaching-v-mentoring

6 Ways Of Measuring Coaching Effectiveness
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-ways-measure-coaching-effectiveness-ruma-biswas

Evaluating Coaching
https://diane-foster.com/articles-newsletters/025CanCoachingEffectivenessBeMeasuredBacon.pdf

Practical Methods for Evaluating Coaching
http://www.employment-studies.co.uk/system/files/resources/files/430.pdf

I am interested in this topic, if you have materials, case-studies or references that you feel would be useful please get in contact.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Rogers is a Qualified Change Practitioner and PRINCE2 Project Manager, with an MBA in Management Consultancy. Past projects have included the incorporation of Ports of Jersey and Operations Change and Sales Support for RBSI and NatWest. He is a tutor/lecturer for the Chartered Management Institute. 

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