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Posts Tagged ‘Mentor’

Here’s a new book.  I’m actually a contributor the book.  I’ve only read the section I wrote but the rest of it looks good.  I got a sample copy and it’s really a big..big .. book.

Here’s the write up from Pfieffer.

The Trainer’ Portable Mentor is an easy to use, comprehensive highly accessible resource that offers shares the passions and most valuable key lessons learned from an all-star cast of some of the most respected training professionals in the field. The book covers a range of training topics including designing training, writing training, delivering training, measuring training, managing training, and developing business acumen. is divided into five sections (Designing Training, Delivering Training, Workforce Performance and Learning, Measurement and Evaluation, and Professional Development) and includes over 60 articles and additional resources found on a special website. In addition to wisdom gleaned from top trainers, the guide is filled with helpful checklists, case studies, assessments, and an easily customizable CD. The Trainer’s Portable Mentor is ideal for anyone new to the field of training and development or a veteran who is looking to be vitalized by quick, succinct practical nuggets that can be put to use right away.

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coach.jpgUploaded by mdt1960

In business you here terms like coaching, mentoring or even a buddy program tossed around and used interchangeably.  I like to look at these as three separate things that have a unique role and value.  Here’s how I define them.  A coach is someone who works with you to improve your performance.  This is what the coach is paid for.  This is often but not always the individuals direct supervisor or boss.

A mentor is someone who guides you through different situations sharing insights.  A mentor wants you to do well but isn’t paid to help you.  What and how a mentor works with you is negotiated and not mandated.  With this definition, it’s easy to see how you could benefit from both a coach and a mentor.  A professional golfer will have a coach who is paid to work with the individual someone like a Butch Harmon.  They have specific expertise and a well defined role to play.  On the other hand they might have a mentor who has been on the tour a while and can help them with things like how to manage all the different facets of tour life. 

A buddy on the other hand is a peer who usually is going through want you’re going through.  They have a different perspective than a coach or mentor.  This is a person with whom you can share and discuss experiences. 

So instead of decided which one is best, I find it works best to find a way to have all three.  If you’re building an onboarding process, this is an important part.

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I’ve seen both these terms used interchangably and with completely different meanings.  I think it’s important to have a distinction no matter what you call them.

 To me a coach is someone who has direct responsibility for training and developing someone else, usually a subordinate.  It’s part of their job description and compensation.  “I do well, if you do well.”  “I want you to win and if you win I win.”

A mentor is someone who doesn’t have the resonsibility but wants you to do well.  They want you to win, but they may not win if you win.  This is a person you can go to for advice or ask questions.  A mentor is willing to help but doesn’t have to.

Which is best?  In the ideal situation, you should have both.  They offer something different and both can really help. 

I’d also add in a third player, a “buddy.”  This is someone who is going through exactly what you’re going through and provides support and resources as you learn.  In the Gallop survey about what employee’s value, having a buddy is top of the list.

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