Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in blog, Business 101 | 0 comments

Imagine that you are sitting around with your colleagues and associates.  Water on the table and Excel spreadsheets as far as the eye can see. This is the routine of the ones that have worked hard to get where they are: the ones in charge of steering this economical ship.  You know how important these people are because you claim yourself as important and here you are, seated with them.  The talents and energy possessed by these individuals keep the company competitive, and their hard work leads and motivates others to do the same.  The table is set and the leaders are in session.  But somewhere else in the firm, there may be someone who is waiting for their calling to emerge.  Now ask yourself this: “Am I doing enough to secure the future of this company?”
It’s a very simple question that can be answered with a yes or no, but a difficult one to actually see played out.  So many variables and so much time for those variables to switch at any given moment.  You are dealing with the best and worst of times all the time!  If you don’t step up and find the best people to begin to take future leadership, then there’s a chance that their talents will go unnoticed and will be removed from your business.  On the other hand, you can provide this needed attention, but your time is already very valuable to the company.  There are two ways to go about this:  you can either coach them or mentor them.  The two are similar, but have different objectives and outcomes.
Coaching – When you are stealing first base, you look for the coach.  You already know how to run fast, but you need the OK to do so.  When are trying to swim, your coach gives you a set of directions, that when followed, leads to success.  In the business world, when someone is coached, it’s to perform a certain way.  This type of structure differs from mentoring because the time invested isn’t on a personal level.  Don’t make it sound informal, but it isn’t as thought- provoking as mentoring.  A coach comes in the workplace and improves productivity and efficiency with an outlined plan.  This plan can be used across the board to lead to success in almost all areas of business.  Coaching happens with people who may be motivated, but maybe not to the point of wanting to break through the roof with speed.  All businesses will benefit with “coaches” helping to shape the overall platform of their companies.  They perform on a slightly larger scale than mentors.
Mentoring – In the process of leading someone through mentorship, it’s not just about the job, but how the person behaves and carries himself at the job.  The person has to have drive, as well as ability to constantly adapt to his or her surroundings.  This is a different set of rules all together.  When you mentor, you don’t get a “right foot, left foot” step program.  You are dealing with different people with different stories and different perceptions of the company and world.  You are looking for skills to be sharpened and senses heighten, not to collect the latest buzzwords to use at your next conference call with the oversea’s associates.  This is long-term structure.  We are looking to build a building, not make over the bathroom.  Look and seek for the one-on-one bond between yourself and the mentee.  This will cause the strengthened bond to carry you both further and push the two harder in the right direction.  The protégé has to be involved, eager, and willing to work hard.  A mentor is looking for the next leaders within the company.  Personal time doesn’t need to be invested in people who have no focus on moving further.  Focus on those candidates that have a fire within them that wants to burn for your company.  They will turn the tables when the room needs to be flipped.
In the workplace, both coaching and mentoring are needed.  At different times, for different goals, with different people.  Although some of the practices implemented are similar, you must approach them with a different set of guidelines if you want the best outcome.  Make sure to strike while the iron is hot – meaning, the parties involved must be ready.  If you want to have an impact on your employees, they have to be ready to receive it and put it into action.  Work training is good, but only to a certain point.  You want to move past training and into performing tasks within the daily grind.  Coach during the game, mentor for the Hall of Fame.  #Business101