Coaching V Mentoring V Consulting

March 11, 2010

I am spending an increasing amount of time coaching executives – reflective of the exciting business world. One challenge that I face is that the coachee wants a solution and, quite often, wants it now.  This can be based on a misunderstanding of the nature of coaching and mixing it up with mentoring – an experienced person sharing wisdom – or a consultant – an experienced person brought into to provide a solution. Coaching is about allowing the coachee to find their own solution.  Getting these distinctions across at the beginning of a coaching assignment is crucial.

I came across a great summary in Excellence in Coaching edited by Jonathon Passmore:

  • A therapist will explore what is stopping you driving the car
  • A counsellor will listen to your anxieties about the car
  • A mentor will share tips from their own experience of driving cars
  • A consultant will advise you on how to drive the car
  • A coach will encourage and support you in driving the car

Leadership through the crisis

December 1, 2009

A recent McKinsey Global Survey (Note 1) has interesting, if predictable, findings as to the capabilities that organisations views as the most important for managing companies through the crisis.  Leadership and Direction.  Of the 763 companies surveyed, 49% believe that Leadership is the most important capability that organisations require, with 42% believing it necessary after the current crisis.  The corresponding figures for Direction are 46% and 39%.  The most important capability required by organisations after the current crisis is Innovation (46%).  Interestingly only 33%of respondents believe that innovation is important during the crisis.

Of the most important leadership behaviors for managing corporate performance, Inspiring Others is rated as most important (46% of respondents) followed closely by Defining Expectations and Offering Rewards (47% of respondents).

Note 1: Leadership through the crisis and after, McKinsey Global Survey Results, September 2009.