- On July 25, 2020
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Coaching, Training, Counselling & Mentoring in the Workplace. What’s the difference?
Coaching in the workplace entails strategically guiding someone into improved performance through reflection on how they apply their skills, experience and knowledge. Coaching is about developing individuals and teams beyond where they currently are and support them to identify what path they wish to travel in the future.
Coaching helps people to reflect on their performance in the workplace with an informed, objective helper. The goal is to support individuals and teams to implement their learning within the workplace, and therefore improve their performance. It is not about teaching something new but gaining insight into themselves in order to personally grow and move forward. The prime focus of coaching should be on using existing knowledge and skills, perhaps reviewing attitude and approach, to maximize how they perform and support the workforce to ensure they are working at their best ability. Coaching offered by Clarity Change is especially useful in the following scenarios;
Restructuring the organisation, or introducing change that affects your staff.
Upcoming interviews for individuals.
Where there is poor performance, either with individuals or teams.
Where there is conflict in the workforce.
New approaches are needed to support staff
Training is simply defined as teaching employees what to do and how to do it and is the process by which someone learns a new skill or piece of knowledge. It is giving someone the tools to do a job, thereby moving that person from conscious incompetence to conscious competence. At the end of a training session the learner may be able to do the job, but not necessarily achieve the required standard all of the time. Training can be formal (eg training courses) or informal (such as on-the-job instruction)
True learning does not take place until the learner has transferred it from the training environment into the ‘real world’, and made a persistent change in behaviour, but in general it should be tailored to meet the needs of the organisation and each individual. Of course there will be mandatory training that is required in the workplace, e.g. Health and Safety or Data Protection, but this could be supplemented with a wide range of courses for staff to choose from at different levels according to roles, fully funded by the organisation.
Training and coaching will often overlap. Sometimes when coaching someone, it may become apparent that he or she does not have the necessary skills or background knowledge which is affecting how they feel about their work and their overall performance. Training, with coaching before, during or after are part of the continuum of development.
It is possible, therefore, that within a person’s role there will be many coaching opportunities for as many skills as are required for that position. An effective personal development plan (PDP) will prioritize the skills that need worked on at any particular time in order to ensure that the individual is fulfilling his or her potential and achieving business objectives.
Clarity Change has 2 programmes for introductory learning:
- a 2 day course on leadership, with follow-up sessions of individual coaching, and
- a 1 day course on the principles of introducing change, with coaching and Consultancy Services to support you through the process.
We believe in the need to make training more than a one-off event, but a well-support transfer of knowledge to the workplace by including coaching.
Counselling is simply defined as helping explore and possibly resolve problems that could be impacting performance, using similar communication skills to coaching. A counsellor will generally be used by individuals to help them deal with a specific problem; Counselling focuses on emotions and feelings rather than performance and tends to look at the causes for today’s issues; it looks at the past and the route taken to arrive at the point where the individual currently is. Coaching turns the attention to the future, with the starting point being where the individual is today; its focus is on planning a route to arrive at a pre-agreed point.
Within the workplace, individuals would generally only seek the advice of a counsellor if they had a problem, whereas coaching can involve the development of good performance as well as under-performance. There is also a fine line between coaching and counselling, the line here is between functionality and motivation.
If a person has no knowledge or only partial knowledge of a particular job function, then that person needs to be coached toward competency. On the other hand, if that same person knows how to perform a particular job function and is just not doing so, there is another issue. This issue could range from a simple motivational one to a more complex one where counselling needs to take place.
Another way to look at it is that coaching has to do with the performance and the standards set, and counselling has to do with a problem that is affecting the employee and that could be affecting others as well.
Mentoring in the Workplace:
Many organizations speak of coaching and mentoring together as part of the same scheme or process. Again, we would agree that there is an element of overlapping,
Mentoring in the workplace covers a range of issues and is much more general than coaching, which looks at a specific work-skill or area. It usually helps people progress within a specific field or organization, and helps individuals look at how they use their networking, profile and organizational politics. More often than not a mentor is someone who is senior to their mentee, but this is not a necessary, either within the organization or within their specialist field. In seeking a mentor, individuals will look for a role model who they can relate to on a personal level, as well as someone who is well-respected within their area. A coach offers an independent, objective relationship outside the workplace.
If you are looking for Coaching, Training or Mentoring Support in your role, we can help you. Click here to contact us.
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Clarity Change | Coaching, Training, Counselling & Mentoring in the Workplace