When Dave was hired by the aviation manufacturer to replace the soon-to-retire manufacturing engineer, he was sure the transition would be easy. After all, he had just graduated from a prestigious college with a degree in aviation engineering. And he had worked as an intern with this group the previous summer. He was pretty sure he understood what was involved with this job.
Patrick was the retiring engineer. He was just as sure that Dave had no clue what was involved with the job. Except, of course, what he had been exposed to during his internship. Which was the only the basics of an engineering job – but not all of it.
While Patrick was ready to teach Dave about the day to day responsibilities, he knew he had to do more. Patrick wanted to empower Dave to do the job to the best of his ability.
Coaching or Mentoring?
What is the difference between a coach and a mentor? And how do you determine who your or someone on your staff might need?
Both coaching and mentoring are processes that enable individuals, and even corporate clients, to reach their full potential.
There are many similarities between the two:
- Explore the needs, motivators, desires and thought processes to make real lasting change.
- Facilitate another person’s thought processes with questions to help them identify solutions and to take action.
- Encourage a commitment to action for personal growth and change.
- Be supportive and non-judgmental.
The primary difference between coaching and mentoring is coaching requires an understanding of a process or technique. It is usually based on task and performance. And it can be focused on a particular outcome.
A mentor usually helps in a relational, developmental manner. There is no authority over the person.
Coaching and mentoring of employees empowers them to become better and more productive employees and better people in general.
Patrick had been involved with the engineering for the aircraft at this facility for 30 years. That is 30 years of building relationship and trust with co-workers. Understanding the nuances of management. And knowing what can – and cannot – be done in this manufacturing environment. He also knew how he had grown in those 30 years. All things that can only be learned by having experiences.
Patrick took Dave under his wing for six months before retiring. And what an amazing six months it was for Dave. He realized how naïve he had been on this first day assuming he would get this figured out quickly. Without Patrick as his mentor, his life would have been much harder in the early months of the job. He also learned a lot about his own motivators and recognized what he would need to do to succeed at this company.
Every business has a need for both coaches and mentors – especially if they want to keep their key employees.
Look around – who are the coaches and mentors in your organization? Provide the opportunity for mentor relationships to develop. And find coaches who can help in the professional development of your team.
Need a bit more help? Check out these Professional Development opportunities presented by Market Viewpoint.
If you liked this article and want more information about professional development for your staff – or yourself – , join the Market Viewpoint community by clicking here.
Angela can show you how professional development can make superstars of your employees – and increase your bottom line! Contact her today to schedule a free consultation.