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5 Top Tips For Accelerating Performance With Coaching and Mentoring

Emerging Talent #5

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I believe Coaching and Mentoring is the single most effecting way to accelerate performance on an Emerging Talent programme.

We’ve experienced huge shifts, people have literally changed in front of our eyes, we’ve seen people gain the confidence to make their voice heard, through to making dramatic career changes.  While the programme gave them strong underpinning knowledge and skills, it was the coaching and mentoring that allowed them to step into a new, and more powerful, version of themselves. It makes us quite emotional just thinking about it!

Experiencing these approaches also helps people to develop a coaching approach in their own management style, to the benefit of their teams and the whole organisation.  

But introducing Coaching and Mentoring can be a time intensive journey.  You need the buy in of the organisation so that participants have the time during work hours to engage in meaningful discussion.  You need the right people – we were supported by an excellent team of external mentors (thank you!). And you need participants who are ready to engage in the process.

 5 Top Tips for Introducing Coaching and Mentoring into your programme.

  1. Make sure everyone is clear on what coaching is, and what mentoring is.  We use an activity where people are guided through a maze.  In the first ‘round’ the person being guided is blindfolded and the guide can see (mentoring).  In the second ‘round’, both are blindfolded (coaching). It’s a great activity to tease out the practical differences, as well as how each feels.
  2. Give people choice in who they are matched with, if at all.  We use a one-page profile (FREE template on our website) to summarise the strengths and interests of each Coach or Mentor.  It’s also important to honour the fact that for some, this simply is not the right time for coaching or mentoring.
  3. Get the ‘contracting’ right.  Coaching and mentoring bodies all provide guidance on contracting and ethics.  Agreements should set out the level of commitment from each party, confidentiality, professional boundaries etc. so that each person knows exactly what to expect.  
  4. Stay in regular touch with your Coaches and Mentors.  Don’t forget your Coaches and Mentors will require support too.  It’s good practice to provide a forum to discuss tricky problems or ethical issues.   It’s also important to recognise their commitment, especially if they are offering their time freely.  You might like to invite them to the end of programme celebration, since they’re an integral part of its success.
  5. Consider the merits of external vs internal resources.  It may be more cost effective to use internal resources, but be mindful that you may hit problems in creating a true sense of psychological safety, where honest conversations can take place.

‘Growing your own’ is an excellent way to motivate staff and develop your talent pipeline.  If you’re thinking about running a programme for your emerging talent or aspiring managers:

There are also lots of FREE resources on our website to get you started.

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