One of my clients' first questions is, "What's the difference between executive coaching and mentoring?" It is a frequent question because Executive coaching and executive mentoring are both developing methods for advancing your skills and career. This article helps you save time and money by making informed decisions.
Let´s part the waters.
You can find an index of topics covered here:
Executive Coaching is about facilitating change in your behavior, which results in achieving your goals.
Executive coaches help their clients to:
Executive coaching is a learning approach that creates self-awareness, helps drive transformational change, and provides critical challenge and support.
Executive coaches offer solutions and advice on a personal level rather than on the level of the organization.
Executive coaching improves business outcomes through the maximization of individual performance.
Business coaching creates an optimal framework for individual performance to shine.
The terminology “executive mentoring” is rarely used. We refer to it as mentoring and often in comparison to executive coaching.
A mentee is a professional, a first-time leader, or even a senior leader who needs specific skills or industry knowledge. A mentor has professional, technical, expert, and business knowledge, and procedural knowledge on the industry which you need. Mentoring involves transferring experience on how to deploy and utilize your skills, using goal setting approach, open-ended questions, and feedback.
Mentoring is beneficial along your career path: in an early stage as a mentee or later on as a mentor.
5 Development Methods for Career Advancement based on the employee´s Goal:
All professionals can be coached or mentored, but not all challenges qualify for a mentorship or coaching approach. Let me give you some examples. I will take the full range of a professional lifespan and explain what tool is best depending on your goal and career stage.
Do you need help or support? Do you need industry knowledge or awareness about how your behavior impacts your colleagues?
As a user, it is crucial to make a distinction:
Mentoring and executive coaching are similar in that:
Mentoring and executive coaching differ in how they approach growth:
Mentoring and executive coaching can be used as techniques for:
A Timeline of Development Tools based on employee's Career Stage:
From all development solutions in the market, training, consulting, mentoring, and executive coaching are specific to professional and business challenges.
Your choice will depend on your leadership challenge, career stage, goals and commitment to take future-oriented action.
Learning to use an ERP (such as SAP) or a chat application; using a new machine or process in manufacturing; learning project management skill or communication competencies; an agile methodology in HR; industry training in M&A for senior managers.
Mentees search for help, i.e., to prepare a great marketing strategy; improve communication with their regional boss; decide on a new job offer they´ve got; learn more about efficient team management through best practice and feedback;
prepare for a job interview or promotion; or how to recognize leadership competencies in their employees.
This is what I do for senior managers when they ask me to share best industry cases on change of ownership, from family-owned to hiring CEO; organizational restructuring during the M&A; organizational development; identifying leaders within their organization; provide and executive search on where to look for and how to identify best candidates;
how to build a pipeline of great talent; or how to manage talent in their organization (feedback culture, performance management, strategy, and process innovation).
For senior managers and professionals getting outstanding and consistent results, coaching is their way forward. Executive coaching guides them to overcome personal bias and to excel in their current or future role. Examples are: building a good relationship with a challenging VP; being visible on the HQ level; leading your team efficiently; being present without being “pushy” for your team; how to build stronger relationships with your peers in the company and outside; or how being a great CEO when you are facing lay-offs and restructuring and how to manage those.
Sometimes we train leaders with coaching skills to become mentors, trainers, and consultants in their companies. Senior managers should not only be able to tell their employees what to do but to mentor, guide, and coach their employees in their development.
It would be best if you were equipped with coaching competencies to lead for growth, but this doesn't mean you, as a leader and senior manager, are conducting a coaching session at work.
You're just using coaching competencies in mentorship while giving feedback, managing meetings, solving complex relationships, and making high-stakes decisions: the coaching tools and approach come very much in hand at work.
In sum, you go for a mentor in your company or another industry to gain specific technical and process knowledge and best practices or identify trends that you need for your job. Mentoring is also connected to building your network and relevant relationships.
Once you pass the senior manager level or leadership level, executive coaching will serve you better.
You hire a coach as an external professional who might not know anything about your industry but is an expert in their coaching field and is accredited to facilitate your behavioral change and development.
My understanding is that everybody is coachable.
Everybody can benefit from mentoring.
But not all situations and career phases are applicable just for anyone of them.
So well-informed decision-making is essential. The best way forward is to have a one-to-one conversation with your coach, mentor, or consultant.
I want to drop a note of warning.
Since the pandemic and the flourishing of online services, we have seen the coaching title frankly overused.
There are a lot of career coaches and business coaches out there who are career and business mentors. They can share their case, experience, and network but not necessarily guide you through creating your own.
An excellent executive coach has the skills to confront you, conduct a profound inquiry, and focus your actions toward your future goal.
I can help you. Contact me to discuss the best move for you based on your goals and professional ambition. I´m here to guide you.
I'm the founder of BOC Institute, one of the renowned consulting agencies for international companies operating in Slovenia and South-East Europe.
I coach CEOs and top managers 1:1 worldwide. I'm here to save you time, energy, and money through your objectives, decision-making, and leadership development. I understand we can change the world one coaching session at a time!
Do you feel like having a call? You can reach out here and let me guide you from there.
Simona Špilak www.simonaspilak.com
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