What makes coaching/mentoring work: The answer is CAT!
We are often asked what conditions are necessary for coaching/mentoring to be successful. While the research shows that there may be several factors depending on the circumstances, we believe CAT is the answer!
- Chemistry: between the candidate and the coach/mentor. If they do not like each other and/or have respect for each other, coaching and mentoring will not work. Trust is an important factor as is honesty. If a coach/mentor sugar coats everything then it will not work as the candidate may not see how the world sees him/her. A high degree of “respectful honesty” is required by both parties. It is also important to remember that coaching/mentoring is not synonymous with therapy and if a person needs therapy then they should seek this from an appropriate clinically qualified person. Moral of the story: If there isn’t the “zing”, it isn’t going to sing!
- Attitude: of the candidate – his/her mind must be open. If the candidate thinks that this is a waste of time and he/she does not need to be coached or mentored then it is essentially a waste of time and money! The attitude of the candidate reveals a lot about his/her attitude to learning and his/her ability to change and adjust to a fast changing environment which most businesses in today’s world face. If the organisation is filled with people who share this attitude, then regretfully the organisation has a very time limited future! Moral of the story: The mind is like a parachute – if it isn’t open it will not work!
- Treatment: You have problem when the boss thinks you need coaching and you do not! It is time then for you to sit down together and have a deep and respectful conversation about why you have these opposing views. It is important that you come to a shared and clear view about this issue in a timely manner, as to keep it hanging in the air, is destructive for everyone.
Sometimes an employee wants to have a coach/mentor so that they can do their best in their role and the employer thinks that this is not necessary as it is a waste of money! If this happens then the employer risks losing the commitment that the employee may give the organisation. In our experience, very few people get up in the morning and come to work to do a bad job! Opportunities to have coaching/mentoring usually shows the employee that they are valued. Studies show that if organisations want to increase productivity and hit business targets, then employee commitment and engagement is essential. Employees who feel nurtured usually do the best they can for their employer and coaching and mentoring at all levels help show that the employer values the employees.
Moral of the story: Every conversation is a two way (at least) process which must be ALWAYS be conducted respectfully for a productive outcome for all and you can all prosper together!