Mentoring has been formalized into programs, policies and initiatives; repackaged as one of many silver bullets. While there are no silver bullets, mentoring really is crucial for individuals and organizations.
One of the most frequent questions that I am asked as a coach is, “What is the difference between a coach and a mentor?” While the skills required are similar, and both are used as professional development tools, the structure and the outcome are quite different.
Originally introduced in the 1950’s, the concept of Management by Objectives (MBO) encouraged the involvement of employees in the company’s goal setting process to increase engagement and improve results. By the 1980’s practically every modern Fortune 500 Company had implemented a goal setting process as part of their overall performance management practice. By setting goals, the organization could focus performance on those activities that would yield the greatest results.
Gone are the days when managers were just managers. More managers today are encouraged, even expected, to develop themselves as leaders and acquire coaching skills to more effectively manage their teams. Not only does coaching allow you to grow as a leader, it also makes you more attractive when interviewing for a new position. Add the skill of coach to your professional portfolio and you rise to the top of the list of candidates.