Mentorships are not as pervasive in the professional world as have been historically. They are invaluable experiences which provide a wealth of knowledge. Mentors are able to provide an experienced point of view otherwise unattainable without years of work. Coaching and mentoring are wholly different from each other.
While coaching focuses on attaining results in a timely manner, mentoring includes the improvement of the mentee in a broader way. Developing your skills as a coach that stands out from the rest will benefit greatly through mentoring. Whether you are mentoring another coach or being mentored, you can benefit from this process.
A paper published in 2008 hypothesized that multiple outcomes were related to mentoring. The researchers compiled and assessed articles and the websites of nationwide formal mentoring programs. To be included in the study, the reports needed to demonstrate a wide range of strict criteria. Some examples of these are:
- Comparison of mentored/non-mentored on an “individual-level outcome (e.g., academic success, drug use, work attitudes).” (authors, pp. 5).
- Involved academic, youth, or workplace mentoring.
- Focused on one-on-one mentoring.
- The primary intervention must be mentoring.
- Quantified the results using a statistic which “could be converted to a product-moment correlation coefficient (e.g., d-statistic, t-statistic, 2×2 contingency table, chi square with 1 df).” (author, pp. 5).
The study, “Does Mentoring Matter? A Multidisciplinary Meta-Analysis Comparing Mentored and Non-Mentored Individuals” discusses various conclusions which can be drawn from the collected data. The findings are compared with those drawn by previous studies focused on mentorships. Finding similarities in the considerable relationships between mentoring in the workplace and attitudes toward career, work, and career outcomes. The results of the study alone found:
“…in terms of workplace mentoring we find that larger gains may be likely in terms of enhancing helping behavior, situational satisfaction & attachment, and interpersonal relationships whereas smaller gains may be likely in terms of enhancing job performance and deterring withdrawal behavior” (authors, pp. 11).
Mentorships can improve a wide range of categories, ranging from behavioral to career outcomes. The relationship developed during the mentoring process can aid both the mentor and mentee. In coaching, three main components can be honed for both parties.
- Exchange of Information & Ideas
A close relationship between two individuals who are in the same field of coaching can lead to innovation and improvement. Both parties will have very different experiences and skills depending on who they have coaching and their reason for coaching. Whether you are the presiding authority or an eager student, the nature mentorships will boost your success as a coach. Exchanging knowledge and ideas with another person is exciting, especially when it is with someone who shares the same passion as you.
- Better Equipped for Change
The different experiences gathered from two people alone can give strength and guidance to changes in the working environment. Understanding how both experts and fledglings of your profession drive the workforce will give both parties a leg up during times of transition. The larger pool of information formed in a close mentor-mentee relationship can bring clarity on the changes and what can be expected after.
- Direction & Revitalization
Having another person who is as deeply entrenched in coaching as you are will help clarify your goals. They can illuminate the direction you want to gear your career towards as well as reminding you why you became a coach in the first place. This renewed dedication and clarity will fuel your productivity and improve the quality (and value) of your services.