“PART OF BUSINESS RESULTS MEANS YOU’VE
GOT STRONG LEADERS IN THE PIPELINE
TO RUN THE BUSINESS TOMORROW.”
MENTORING VS. COACHING
To some, coaching may sound quite similar to mentoring, but the
differences are important.
“Mentoring is a relationship where one person helps another
person navigate through the organization,” said Toronto-based
leadership coach Bonnie Flatt. “In a mentor role you’re sharing
your experience with others; you’re doing a lot more telling than
Coaching, on the other hand, takes quite a different form.
“Coaching isn’t about telling or directing someone what to do,
so much as holding a mirror up, guiding them, showing what’s
possible for them,” said Flatt. “As a coach, I help you to pull from
within yourself – your strengths, your knowledge base – what’s
going to work for you. In mentoring, you’re looking to me as the
expert. In coaching, you’re your own expert.”
PERFORMANCE AND DEVELOPMENT
Coaching can be applied to a wide range of challenges or needs
within an organization.
“In some cases, coaches are brought in to address performance
issues,” said Flatt. For example, if a leader has a team that’s not
performing at a high level, that leader may bring in a coach to assess
the obstacles and map out a solution.
“Some coaches will come in and do performance coaching and
they’ll focus on the behaviours and the shifts that need to take
place for the team to be more effective,” said Flatt.
– CHRISTINE BURYCH, PRESIDENT,
STARLINGBROOK LEADERSHIP CONSULTING
Development coaching, on the other hand, is broader and includes
performance coaching within its mandate.
“This kind of coaching takes it to a whole new level,” said
Flatt. “There may be some specific behaviours that need to shift,
and then you really get into the drivers of that behaviour, to address
and change the underlying assumptions and beliefs.” This
kind of coaching, she says, is more likely to bring about lasting
change. “Once the coach leaves, the person can still sustain the
WHAT DOES A COACH DO?
Whether coaching is introduced to address a problem or take a
leader from great to greater, a pivotal step in transformation and
improvement is to change behaviour.
Anyone who’s ever tried to break a habit or develop a new one
knows just how hard this can be.
“If they could do it themselves, they would have done it,”
said Christine Burych, president of StarlingBrook Leadership
Consulting in Toronto. “It’s like saying I want to lose weight.
I know how to do it, but if I could do it on my own I would
have done it by now. That’s why places like Jenny Craig and
WeightWatchers can be so helpful, because they provide the
environment, there are people to talk to and you’ve got an accountability
partner who will hold you to those things you say
you’re going to do.”
Andrei Kuzmik / Shutterstock
20 ❚ JANUARY 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL