Potential benefits of coaching and mentoring

The essentials of coaching and mentoring

The concepts of coaching and mentoring and how they differ from other L&D methods.

Coaching is the process of showing a person how to move from one place to a place they would like to go to. Coaching empowers people or the coachee, enhances their self-awareness, and promotes critical decision making. Coaching helps people move consciously to the place they wish to be. It is basically encouraging people to reach their goals. Mentoring is also the process of advising or supporting somebody of lesser experience to help them develop in their field of work. For instance, being a good manager, you need somebody who you can look up to help you grow as a good manager. Mentoring and coaching go hand in hand as they both need somebody with higher experience to help somebody with little or no experience. It is also essential to recognize the apparent differences between mentoring and coaching. Coaching aims at unlocking potential to help people achieve goals. In a professional setting, coaching looks at improving specific skills to make excellent performance for a certain period. Mentoring in business refers to the relationship between a person in a lower position and an experienced colleague. The senior person in this relationship, the senior uses their experience to help the junior in achieving their goals.

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The concepts of coaching and mentoring and how they differ from other L&D methods.


Focus Relationship Approaches Outcomes




New skills are earned by the learner

Short term focus and input

Making old skills new

Technical or ‘soft’ focus

 Mostly transactional

Short term

‘Teacher and learner’ scenario

Ownership is with trainer to impart skills

Trainer as expert

Expert knowledge

Trainer led

Activities, discussions, role play, exercises

Support primarily at time

Goals identified as start of session and coaching intervention

Increased skill set

Increased confidence in using skills

Not always a plan of how to apply skills




Improves existing skills

Improve confidence

Longer term focus and input

Considers the way to achieve something

Developing the coachee not skill

Longer term, more transformational

4-6 sessions for 1-2 hours

Ownership of actions is with learner

Learner as expert

Learner with expert knowledge

Questions and exploration by coach

Experience, scenario, options and metaphor based

Increased application of skills

Increased awareness of behaviors and impact

Increased options of approaches

Plan of approach often present

Increased confidence




experience passed to learner

Long term development focus


Long term relationship


Shared ownership

Mentor as expert

Mentor led

Questions and exploration by mentor

Experience based

Evolving agenda over time

Increased clarity on direction, career, role or life

Increased awareness

Mentee led plan

Increased confidence

 Potential benefits of coaching and mentoring for coach/mentor and coachee/mentee

There are several benefits that accrue from coaching, coaches develop their listening skills as they listen to the coachee and support them, and this helps them advance their questioning ability. The coachee improves their awareness of themselves, improved skills and knowledge. Mentees realise career development as recognise the organisation in a bigger perspective and enjoy guides from an experienced person. The mentor, learns new ideas in the process of mentoring as the mentee may also bring new ideas and enjoy when they see their mentee doing well.

Types of coaching

  • Executive coaching

This is coaching in business and seeks to develop key players within a business context. It may improve performance, raising skills and abilities to a higher level and aid individuals in adapting to situations which are not familiar or also address bad performance.

  • Employee coaching

Employee coaching aims at coaching staff in an institution or business. Organisations have recognised the importance of coaching in improving output in a workplace. This is used to motivate the employees to exploit their potential in the workplace.

  • Life coaching

Realising the importance of life and the different aspects of your life is very important in improvement of your overall performance. Life coaching aims at addressing people’s personal life, for example, relationships and spiritual life.

There is directive and non-directive coaching, a directive approach involves wisdom transfer, the mentor or coach gives advice based on their experience. In directive approach the mentee has little ownership of outcomes and may be less committed. Most coaches seem to like non directive approach, it allows the mentee to draw their own solution as a result of their engagement with the coach or mentor. The non-directive method, the coach is not necessarily required to be an expert in the field, both the coach and the mentee own the solution, and they both have great commitment to the action.

Coaching: the stages and process

There are several stages; it stars by creating the relationship, the coach may be internal or external depending on the level of whoever is to be coached, challenges they are faced with, availability of the internal coach, and the expenses to be incurred

The coach tries to develop a connection with the coachee first, they familiarise with each other. They determine their main focus together or set goals of the coaching, the coach evaluates the current situation of the coachee to guide in finding the solution, the coach helps the coachee to find a solution to their issues, and the coachee considers the option for solving their issues. The coachee should take part fully to enhance the relationship and help achieve the goals of the relationship.

Mentoring: nature and process

Mentoring seems less formal due to the relationship being long-term and open ended. In a one to one mentoring mentors does not fully take part. They are meant to achieve order in following organisational rules through training. They do this while making sure they stick to ground rules. Mentors show their experience to the mentee and sometimes provide the mentees with institutional context. The mentors still question and listen to the mentees.

In comparison to the coaches, the mentees are more active in setting the relationship. They are involved in driving the meetings and setting the objectives. They should always be driven by the goals and objectives set in the relationship and respect the rules set and exercise honesty.

The process starts with the mentor assessing their skills and knowledge and ability to mentor the mentees put across what they want to achieve. They come together to make a bond, discuss their expected outcomes in the relationship, methods they will use and objectives. Ground rules on how to handle the relationship are set and this is normally too informal.

The relationship proceeds as the mentor shares knowledge and experience. Mentors evaluate progress while directing and may also suggest interventions. The relationship is closed after making an appraisal of the outcomes.

Models and techniques

Several models are available, two of which are; OSKAR and GROW.

GROW is one of the models which is effective. It was developed Whitmore (2002), it focusses on solutions. It evaluates the outcomes looking for perfect scenario in future, before assessing the coachee present situation.  It focuses on how a person got their current achievement and not the bad outcomes. The coachee is then encouraged to think about what they are already familiar with and how they have once solved similar issues and apply the same skills.

OSKAR aims at affirming before asking the coachee to act. In OSKAR the coachee is considered the expert and is assumed to possess skills and knowledge to change their situation to the better. OSKAR looks at small steps and not options and aims at progressing first. Review is the final section and seeks to consolidate learning and predict further small steps.

Both of the models require techniques, one mostly used by mentors and the coaches is questioning, to promote understanding and aid the learner in thinking about their situation critically. New aspects may be discovered or possibilities which the mentee may not have known before.

It can be used together with summarising, since the mentor makes sure the mentee understands. It also helps the mentee or coachee change their perspective.


Coaching and mentoring should be recorded, to increase accountability and ease of tracking. It helps inform the starting point of the next session and it is also important for the sake of remembering. Both the coach and the coachee will record it is upon the coach to record the formal action plans after a mutual discussion. Details of attendance and logistics are recorded including dates and location.

Coaching record

Coach: paper

Coachee: paper

Date: sample

Time: sample

Location: paper




To increase productivity

Today: wants to increase number of pages typed


Have never typed above ten pages

Wants to earn more money

Good at vocabulary


Practice for longer time

Get somebody to help



Action 1: be more active and increase working hours

Action 2:  be serious with the job and focus on your goals


specific measurable achievable relevant Time bound
Practice for longer time Will be able to accomplish tasks quickly Learn more on typing skills online Significant for improving productivity Deadline 2nd feb
Get somebody to help More labour will reduce time taken to complete a task Seek for advice on increasing the labour force Get somebody is significant for your employer  





MacLennan, N., 2017. Coaching and mentoring. Routledge.

Serrat, O., 2017. Coaching and mentoring. In Knowledge Solutions (pp. 897-902). Springer, Singapore.

Stowers, R.H. and Barker, R.T., 2010. The coaching and mentoring process: The obvious knowledge and skill set for organizational communication professors. Journal of technical writing and communication, 40(3), pp.363-371.

Luecke, R., 2004. Coaching and mentoring: How to develop top talent and achieve stronger performance. Harvard Business Press.

Nigro, N., 2007. The Everything coaching and Mentoring Book: How to increase productivity, Foster talent, and encourage success. Simon and Schuster.

Jackson, P., 2008. Coaching, mentoring and organizational consultancy: Supervision and development. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 1(1), pp.102-105.


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