Knowing Your Role: Why Definitions in Business Coaching Models Matter

In contemporary business culture, business coaching models are being adopted and implemented at a rate easily comparable to the corporate mad-dash for diversity and inclusion. In fact, the business coaching industry is on track to collect $12 Billion in estimated revenue for 2019 in the US, alone. At Core, we’re pumped that companies are becoming increasingly considerate of the correlation between meaningful direct report/management interactions, and meaningful workplace productivity. Yet, executive interest in leveraging business coaching to improve revenue and company culture can also promote internal creation or outside contracting of ad hoc coaching models— leading to competency confusion around role definition and development. Which basically translates to…

Many organizations aspire to establish a coaching culture— but  it’s not as simple as it sounds.

We find that many business coaching models confuse or combine, or confuse and combine, the roles and responsibilities of the three main roles in corporate leadership— Manager, Coach and Mentor.  

This includes:

• Establishing clear definitions for each title
• Understanding when each role is important
• Managing the progression from Manager to Mentor.

Failure to clearly and properly define these roles, how they work together, and how they may be combined and mutually exclusive— can create epic levels of confusion and counterproductivity. So we’re giving you a Core powered cheat-sheet that can help you, and your organization, better understand how to leverage business coaching—  the right way!

Everyday Managers Matter.

A manager is someone who provides feedback – but often this feedback is provided only when it is mandated or required. Managers are responsible for making sure employees perform their job by leading activities such as weekly one-on-one conversation or focusing on activities for specific deals or opportunities. Without question, these elements are critical for establishing a foundation for development– however— managing employees is just that, and it is not enough to drive high performance in most organizations.

It’s no secret that everyday managers are overwhelmed by the demands on their time, largely due to the non-revenue generating administrative business support tasks. Essentially, they’re in the trenches– and often viewed as the stop-gap between their team and their customers. Yet, the everyday admin related demands have negative implication on the manager’s ability to focus on coaching, even when it’s properly defined, and integrated.

What is a Coach, Exactly?

We understand the challenges of defining the role of a coach, and know that organizations definitely value the role, however, as we mentioned— many struggle to provide a standard definition.

Here’s ours:

A coach is best defined as a leader who inspires growth through experiential leadership supported by data, analytics and emotional intelligence.

Coaching should take on the role of regular feedback, praise when it is warranted, criticism when it will improve performance, and consistency– because it increases and enhances employee awareness. Yet coaching, even when done well, is not enough. To reap its greatest effectiveness coaching must be combined with mentoring.

How Does Mentorship Support Management and Coaching?

Every member of your team can benefit from having a mentor. A mentor is someone who takes a more active, involved role in developing and inspiring employee success. One of the greatest differences between the roles of a coach and a mentor is defined by the commitment to development beyond the professional aspects and feeds into the development of the person’s aspirations on a personal level.

Mentors also invest heavily in the succession planning process by serving as a sounding board and advocate for the mentee. As the advocate, the mentor builds team morale, helps increase team productivity, provides necessary developmental mentoring, and advocates for team growth and advancement. They strategically invest in their assigned team member, establish a regular schedule of interaction (whether that takes the form of formal reviews or informal interactions such as coffee-side chat sessions), checkups via phone calls, and deep-dive daily interactions.

Mentors are critical for the team member and for the organization – they build trusting relationships. This puts them in the advantageous position of identifying leaders, establishing constructive chains of command, and creating long term career plans and goals. Team members who benefit from relationships with mentors perform better, feel more appreciated, and enhance the businesses they represent.

Manager ⇨ Coach ⇨ Mentor

While most organizations are clear about coaching being the most fundamental component of creating lasting organizational success, it’s important to know that a well informed, properly organized business coaching model includes a transitional component that guides managers to becoming effective coaches and mentors. This trifecta of leadership skills, once learned, can be applied to various aspects of an organization— sales, customer service, marketing & finance— when constructed from individual performance, employee engagement, and mentoring.

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Written by the team at The Core Results


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