Coaching has become the generic solution to a plethora of HR development needs, but is it always the right approach and are we using it effectively? John McGurk, CIPD Learning and Talent Adviser, warns that coaching has become an 'organisational aspirin' - a cure-all solution for everything. Listen tothe latest podcast to hear John and other experts discussingtheir views on coaching.

Approaches to mentoring and coaching

Directive mentoring and coaching

A directive approach involves a transfer of wisdom, where the mentor or coach provides advice or direction, probably based on their experience and expertise. Mentoring tends to be directive, although some people also see coaching as being directive. Even within mentoring there are pros and cons to being directive. Advantages include:
  • mentee benefits from shared experience
  • mentee benefits from mentors' hindsight
  • mentee can be given a solution
  • mentor feelsrewardedby sharing wisdom.
Disadvantages of directive approach:
  • mentee has less ownership of outcomes
  • mentee may be less committed to action
  • the solution might not be "right".

Non-directive mentoring and coaching

A non-directive approach allows the recipient to formulate their own solutions and actions as a result of skilled listening and questioning from the mentor or coach. Advantages of non-directive approach for the mentor or coach:
  • mentor/coach does not need to be an expert in the field
  • mentor/coach is open-minded and asks open questions
  • mentee/coachee has ownership of the solution
  • mentee/coachee has greater commitment to action
  • the solution is more likely to be "right" for the mentee/coachee.
Disadvantages could be:
  • longer time to reach an outcome
  • missed opportunity to benefit from another's experience
  • mentee/coachee may simply want to be giventhe answer.
A balance between these two extremes is likely to be the best. The balance will shift depending on the issue and the experience of the mentor or coach and the mentee or coachee For a full list of coaching courses courses please call us on 0800 4084840 or follow this link /uk/search?q=coaching and g3=uk and x=-1366 and y=-125 and se=SE0  );