Coaching, mentoring or training?

A business woman coaching a colleague

When is an Executive Coach Useful?

Sometimes it’s tricky to decide if coaching, mentoring or training is right for you or other managers in your organisation.

Coaching provides a unique vehicle for confidential and highly qualified input to expand and significantly improve a manager’s performance. Each manager’s situation is unique, so in order to specifically address issues faced by a manager, then a one-to-one coaching approach is most efficient and valuable. For example, if you (or the manager):

  • Have specific behaviours that are derailing your career
  • Find that there are patterns in what you experience at work, such as missing out on promotions, getting ‘second best’, negative feedback and repeated blocks
  • Are achieving high levels in your current role, but are not sure what to do next
  • Would like to build a high performance and engaged team
  • Want to expand your influence in the business
    …then coaching may be right for you.

Coaching need not be about developing weaknesses. In fact, at Treacle Consulting about 90% of our coaching clients are considered high performers in their respective organisations. They are looking to further enhance their abilities and approaches so as to truly excel and prepare for career progression.

The focus of coaching is to bring out the ‘best’ in each leader; helping the manager to leverage their strengths and draw on existing experiences and personal resources.

A coach brings rigour, models, tools and techniques to help the manager attain their goals.

Mentoring, on the other hand, typically involves a more experienced/senior manager who provides the wisdom of their experiences in order to help the mentee deal with workplace and career issues. This is a highly useful development vehicle if set up well and has a high level of commitment from both parties. However, it may not get to deep-rooted blocks that are hindering manager performance.

Treacle Consulting often views mentoring as a great source of ongoing support after a coaching program has completed. It helps the manager to maintain reflection time and an external perspective.

Training/workshops are very useful if there is a specific skills gap and there is benefit from gaining the insights from other participants. Again, this is a great complement to coaching.