Coaching and Mentoring

Chris Brooks and I led a lively facilitated discussion last night at AITD’s NSW professional development evening. It was inspiring to hear the level of knowledge and experience in the room. Lots of bright ideas and tons of interpretations, views and ongoing questions.

One of the pervading issues revolved around trying to tease coaching and mentoring apart.  Perhaps one of the great learnings from the evening were:

  • coaching and mentoring are about the learner, not what we call the initiative
  • fundamentally we still need a needs analysis to identify the issue and the best approach
  • mentoring involves coaching conversations and coaching may use mentoring
  • there are more similarities than differences
  • each organisation needs to contextualise their own definition of coaching and mentoring
  • coaching and mentoring need a structure and process to enhance effectiveness
  • evaluation is likely to be soft (eg feedback and observation) unless there are specific outcomes which are measurable
  • the stickability and practicality of the learning is dependent on defining clear outcomes and expectations, the level of commitment of the parties and the capability of the mentor/coach to empower the learner
  • educating the coaches and mentors is critical to the success of the program

In terms of Continue reading

Mentoring program success

It’s always rewarding to get good feedback. I returned to one of my clients recently to run the inaugral Development Program. On arrival I was met by Richard who advised me reports on the Mentor program were excellent. He was especially pleased his boss, who sat in on the session, was impressed with the program and my facilitation. Yayyy. But it gets better. At the end of the day I was met again by Richard who let me know the feedback he had received from the development program participants was also excellent. He then volunteered, “and you had some tough cookies in there”.

So nice to hear. Every session I run I do an analysis of what worked and what didn’t. It’s wonderful to be volunteered positive feedback from a client.

New Mentoring Program

Worked with a fabulous group of people today. Mostly managers of a public agency.  Delivered the inaugral mentoring program.

I’d rewritten the program the night before based on fresh research, incorporating feedback on the group I was to deliver to and put some finishing touches on before delivering it. It went very well – better than anticipated for a refreshed program – always a nervous moment. Each person seemed very pleased.

One of the keys to maintaining a reputation as a quality professional trainer and facilitator is keeping material fresh and relevant.