Archive for August, 2010

At the IEC we often receive requests for “a coach or mentor”.   Part of my role is to help our clients understand exactly what it is they are after.  There is a lot of confusion between these two terms and they are often used interchangeably, even though they are very different interventions.

The role of the mentor is to provide insight, and to guide and advise you in your development to reach your highest potential.    Mentors typically assume the role of the wise adviser based on their own personal/professional experience and may act as a mentor on long or a short term basis. The mentor is not usually responsible for an individual’s performance, but through experience can help fast track their learning, provide valuable insights, and support them to avoid the pitfalls in their current or new role.

An executive coach gives people the freedom to use their talents, skills and experience – while at the same time ensuring clear goals are in place and outcomes are achieved.   Executive coaching is a collaborative relationship that uses an adult  learning framework.  A coach asks the right questions to help executives and business professionals identify and remove those interferences that limit the expression of their full potential.  While a coach’s own experience may help them to understand the counterpart’s context, this understanding is not essential.  A good coach will work on the assumption that the best advice and solutions lie within the counterpart.   Another distinction, is that Executive coaching is a three-way relationship between the coach, their counterpart and the counterpart’s organisation.

Which one do you need?

If in doubt, please give us a call and we would be happy to discuss the finer points of these two services with you.

Alex Ford – Client Services Manager


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