Coaching Versus Mentoring Essay

Words: 2872
Pages: 12

Critical Comparison of Coaching ‘v' Mentoring

The scope of this assignment is to critically compare and contrast the two approaches, reflecting on the relevance and value of each, to apply this to my organisation where possible and to offer recommendations where appropriate.



Coaching can take many forms, life coaching, business coaching, performance coaching etc. As with mentoring and counselling it is about helping the individual to gain self awareness, but it is goal focused and action is required so that the individual can move forward. The goal setting process has two components: skill development and psychological development. The outcome sought is that the "coachee" will achieve the goals set, and
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Hesketh, 1997, suggests that this is due to a lack of teaching Meta cognitive skills to trainees. Meta cognitive skills, the ability to think about one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, are essential in mastering new skill sets. Hesketh, 1997, defined Meta cognition as knowledge and control of self and knowledge and control of process. Both are important in self-regulation of commitment, attitude, attention, and executive control of behaviour.

Prior to 1990, most people recommended for coaching were viewed as talented but flawed. Similarly, coaches tended to emphasise the negative and remedial aspects of working with people, from overcoming resistance, (Jellison, 1993) to preventing derailment (Kaplan, 1991).
By the late 1990's, things had improved; coaching had taken on a new more proactive bent. (See Hicks & Henderson, 1997)
Jennifer Millier writes about her experiences whilst working for Hewlett Packard in the early 1990's through to year 2000 and onwards. She describes the epiphany that took place around the beginning of her coaching path (Jennifer being the coachee at this time).

Jennifer' coach had asked her after one early session, what she wanted to work on and she immediately focused on the weaker points of her appraisal, her coach asked the question repeat ably, until Jennifer realised that, hey, she had always tried to leave what she was good at alone and to improve areas where she was weak, now