3 Indications the Executives Are not for Coaching, but Mentoring

3 Indications the Executive Are not for Coaching, but Mentoring

There are differences between Executive Coaching and Mentoring, either is NOT necessarily better than the other, but, the missing understanding about the difference between the two leadership developments could lead to disappointment or even frustration. Most people collectively think of coaching and mentoring as one typical type of leadership development tool. One of the reason is because such two development tools share something in common, e.g. both are focusing in gaining knowledges, awareness, and insights/wisdom, they require certain level of relationship (in order to be successful), not just having compatibility, but at least chemistry between two parties has to be positive, and the fact that both are calling for action, etc. 

For readers who are new to coaching, the typical coaching relationship between both parties is equal, one party is NOT necessarily has more knowledges/experiences/credentials than the other party. In addition, coaching has integrated the modern positive psychology into its practice, therefore, the approach is focusing on what one has on hand (possibility and positivity).

Now, as you, the executives, or HR professionals as the leadership development project manager, have been levelling about coaching basics. If you are entering into coaching contract, always keep in mind to choose the approach that fits to what you are trying to achieve, check in with yourself their key characteristic of approach, make a quick adjustment when the approach you’ve chosen doesn’t seem to move in the right direction. Based on the above mentioned nature of coaching, the following three discomforts might be the indication you should reconsider the approach you are undertaking.

a) You feel surprised, you are more knowledgable
You’ve come into conversation with certain expectation. Your awareness that your coach doesn’t have the knowledges or possesses some exposures around the professional area or the leader label/title where you’ve currently been involved has become the unexpected.

b) You are looking for direct answer from your coach.
You are more familiar being suggested what you could have done better than being asked to draw the conclusion from your own wisdom/knowledges.

c) You are fully uncomfortable, holding the accountability.
You feel forced, when coach asked you to draw the action plan with the certain timeframe, not just the agreement or the promise to do differently when you face the similar situation in the next round.

In case you have these discomforts, it’s time to pause and think about the choices that you have. I hope you are successful pursuing your leadership development route.