q From Mentor to Coach by Dorothy Montgomery | CCC Blog

From Mentor to Coach by Dorothy Montgomery

Like some of us, I was exposed to the world of coaching through my work place. A decade ago I barely heard the term coaching in business until someone confided that our company’s executives each had their own personal coach. I remember thinking, “Why did they need an individualized coach?” “They were accomplished, so what did that mean for the rest of us?”

Over the past five years companies have implemented mentoring programs. More recent, mentoring has expanded from a hierarchical approach to include a peer to peer focus, as well as venturing into group mentoring. The company I work for also implemented a mentoring program, yet even with a strong program in place, requests poured in to our learning and development department for personalized coaching. Now I was curious, what was the difference between mentoring and coaching?

Through my quest to understand the difference, I learned about the Center for Coaching Certification, (CCC). Before registering, I asked a basic question, “What was the philosophical coaching approach that CCC based its application upon?” I heard the answer I was looking for: all clients have the capability to find the answer(s) within themselves, and coaching provides the practicum to help clients find the answers. This became the difference between mentoring and coaching. It’s been my experience that mentoring takes an advisor to learner approach to personal development, whereas coaching supports the client to find answers through self discovery. Coaching also assures action and results through the client’s ownership of the process.

I obtained my coaching certification to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring, but I realize I was given more. Much more. Not only did I have my answer but certification aligned with my personal values in that it established a foundation of respect for the profession, and more importantly, respect for our clients. A Code of Ethics and Code of Values were shared with us at the start and set the tone for our weeks of certification. I expected to obtain the skills and practices of coaching, yet was very pleased with the introduction to tools to start a business. I now have access to numerous applications and tools for coaching. The Center for Coaching Certification continues to support and provide value long after the coaching certificate is received.

Dorothy Montgomery, Professional Coaching and Direction, www.findyouraim.com

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