How does mentoring differ from coaching?

There are both similarities and differences. Mentoring is a process of collegial support, a safe place for an exchange of ideas, for exploration and shared experiences. Coaching is a process of capability development, primarily concerned with changing a person's way of thinking and ultimately their behaviour towards others. In reality there is commonalities between mentoring and coaching. Irrespective of your role, my relationship with you will combine both mentoring and coaching.

How does coaching differ from supervision?

Supervision is primarily concerned with skill development. Again there are commonalities and overlaps. Supervision is often a mandated process as a part of ongoing professional development whereas both mentoring and coaching should be voluntary processes.

Is coaching used to walk a person out the door?

Regrettably, in the past some employers certainly viewed coaching as a soft option for achieving this. Management coaching as a service, and practitioners have matured with experience and I believe this is less prevalent today. Coaching is a strengths based process in that it builds upon existing strengths and helps build new capabilities. It is a goal oritentated process and has a focus upon change. Some people do decide during a coaching relationship that it is time to move onto something else. This might be because they simply dont want to change or it might be because their heightened awareness enables them to sense it is time to move on. Those entering a coaching relationship with me do so voluntarily, they must pre-qualify themselves by declaring their desire to change and demonstrating that desire through goal setting.

What is your coaching model?

I apply an ontological approach in that my focus is upon helping you to understand the relationship between your thoughts, emotions, behaviour and outcomes. While some employers may require you to take part in formal feedback processes prior to coaching, this serves only to provide evidence of a need for change. Within our coaching relationship it is you doing the work and taking personal responsibility for your own actions and outcomes. You will be expected to share your experiences, provide feedback on your observations, what it is you have seen and heard, the words and language used by yourself, your own actions, impacts and reactions. I am not there to tell you what is right or wrong, or what to do. Those are your decisions, after discussion and exploration of alternatives and options.

What is your coaching process?

It is a goal oriented process guided by the Intential Change model developed by Professor Richard Boyatzis in 2006. During our initial discussions you will be asked to identify how you would like to become a better manager. You might be guided by your instincts and observations or you might be guided by either informal feedback or formal feedback processes within your organisation. Throughout our coaching relationship you have 24/7 access to me via a combination of face-to-face meetings, email, sms, telephone, skype and social media. We will be constantly sharing and exchanging idea. My role as coach is to support you, ask questions, challenge your assumptions, put forward alternative perspectives for consideration and hold you accountable for achieving the goal that you set. Your role is to take personal responsibility for doing the things that you said you would do. You will also be expected to identify how your progress will benefit your employer. This provides evidence of return on investment. The length of a coaching relationship is determined by your results. For some people its only a few weeks, for others it may be several months. Even after the formal relationship has ceased I continue to keep in touch and monitor your progress with you and provide ongoing support.

Is coaching confrontational?

No, to the contrary, it is an exciting celebration of you, your strengths, your potential and your success. It's not about what you do badly; rather what you do well.

Is coaching always successful?

Yes, your coaching will be successful, simply because you have pre-qualified yourself, you are setting your own goals and outcomes and you are taking personal responsibility for doing the things that you said you would do. You will not fail!

My job is on the line. Is coaching appropriate?

If your employer, or you have left it until that stage to seek coaching then neither have done you any favours. It is highly possible there has been significant erosion of trust between you and your employer by this stage. This is fixable, however it is not a short term fix. It takes a long period of intensive work involving both you and your employer and even others around you. This requires significant investment by your employer in an asset they see little value from. It is preferable to seek coaching at the earliest stage rather than waiting until your 'job is on the line'.

What are your formal coaching qualifications?

There have been a variety of coach development programs available for the past ten years. Despite this and the development of evidence based coaching methodologies, coaching is not a formal profession. The industry does not impose a requirement for a practitioner to attain a minimal level of qualification and there is no enforceable code of ethics. For my own reasons I have elected to not participate in those programs. I began providing management coaching in 2002, when coaching in Australia was in its infancy. I do not profess to know everything however I have learnt a lot over the past 15 years and when I add more than 40 years of practical workplace experience I believe the 'school of hard knocks' provides valid experience. Having said that, today the opportunities for ongoing professional development exist without the need to gain a formal qualification and I take advantage of those opportunities through conferences, workshops and access to published material. I have chosen to be guided by the teachings and experiences of Marshall Goldsmith, Alan Sieler and Dr Anthony Grant. As an individual I am influenced by a Buddhist approach to life and these beliefs influence how I work with people.

Is coaching the same as therapy?

LOL, No thank goodness. Therapy is a recognised clinical model conducted by qualified people where the focus is upon the root cause of an issue, with a focus upon the past. It can often be a prescriptive process. Coaching on the other hand is an exploration of potential and possibilities, with a focus upon the future. Coaching is a supportative and collegial process.