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Is mentoring the poor relative to coaching?

I found the article, from 20. august 2008 at: http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=187519&d=680&h=0&f=0&dateformat=%25e-%25h-%25y

Finally someone with the same opinion as me, because if you read it through you find that it is pro mentoring all over.

It`s maybe a bit long, but it`s worth it!

Coaching vs. mentoring

There is no denying that coaching is the profession du jour: If it’s not advances in e-coaching making the trade press, then it’s another new product launching to make the coaches life easier. And where there is training to be imparted, there is money to be made. Add to this the impending skills gap and the current government fervour for departmental development and you have a voracious demand for more coaches.

But for all the good this tunnel vision has done for the coaching industry, it has only served to push mentoring further into the background. David Pardey, senior policy research manager at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) suggests that the main reason behind the imbalance is down to coaching’s ability to sell itself.

«Mentoring is worthy but dull, coaching is sexy and professional. I don’t think that’s true or a good thing but I do think the emphasis on coaching has been to the detriment of mentoring.»
David Pardey, ILM

«Coaches are more commercial,» he admits. «There are an awful lot of people out there who are professional coaches; in fact the numbers are increasing all the time but also within businesses and organisations, there is a growing emphasis put on managers working as coaches with their own teams, and they in turn are having to learn new skills,» he says.

Pardey also believes that the popularity of coaching has been aided by lobbying groups and the government push on coaching, as well as the general perception that it is seen as a more ‘professional’ discipline. «Mentoring is worthy but dull, coaching is sexy and professional. I don’t think that’s true or a good thing but I do think the emphasis on coaching has been to the detriment of mentoring,» he reflects.

Mentoring comes of age

That said, the value of mentoring is gaining momentum particularly among managers where there is a growing appreciation of its advantages. It now plays a critical role in organisations and has been particularly important in the progression of women and other minority groups in the workplace and presents a valuable tool in long-term management and organisation development – something that short-term coaching strategies can often overlook.

Jan West heads up MentorSET , a women-only independently funded organisation that places mentees from the science, technology and engineering sectors with suitable mentors. She has seen mentoring experience a surge in popularity since the scheme’s inception in 2001.

«From our point of view mentoring seems to have become exceedingly popular. Back in the days when we first set up, mentoring was not well known but it’s all over the place now,» she says.

«People probably don’t understand what mentoring is all about. They think coaching is all about having these courageous conversations – well you can do that with mentoring, it’s no different.»
Linda Grant, Skipton Building Society

Welcome to Mentorblog

Mentorblog is all about mentoring – what it is, how it works, how you can learn it and also how you can use mentoring to reach your goal!

Mentoring is a powerful and popular way for people to learn a variety of personal and professional skills. In fact, they say that mentoring is one of the oldest forms of influence. And I have been so lucky to work with mentoring and mentoring program for a lot of years now and find it still fascinating.

And of course I will also recommend good books I read!