The theories and concepts of coaching and mentoring

Before starting any business operations the organisation set the goals and objectives to be achieved as a result of that activity, same is the case with all organisations that work; participate in the markets to achieve the predefined goals and objectives of their business. To achieve the organisation goals, objective and purpose for which they are doing business or running an organisation, they deeply rely on the human resources and their skills, and they should do it because these are human in back of each and every success in the organisation, the high commitment of humans working on different job positions in the organisation is very important, and to ensure that the people working on different positions have the right skills, knowledge and information, and they act of the plans what the management of the organisation decide for them in order to improve their personal and professional skills.

All personal relationships are shaped by the environment in which they are set and all partners in the relationship bring with them contextual understandings, beliefs and perceptions that influence the relationship. Every relationship is also the context for other relationships. Context is influenced by cultures and subcultures, organizational mores, socio-economic conditions, the physical environments of home and work, historical and generational effects, social and peer associations, political and religious beliefs, etc. The coaching and mentoring arena it is the relationship that is emphasized, whilst the contexts, which impact on the relationship and within which the relationship exists, are downplayed (Harris 1995).

Literature review on coaching and mentoring

The terms coaching and mentoring are considered as two areas of practice have large areas of commonality and overlap. Mentors are often more effective if a coaching style is adopted where appropriate (Darwin, 2000). This was particularly the case for the mentors studied here, who were helping their mentees to prepare for a return to the workplace. It could also be argued that effective coaching relies on wisdom and prior knowledge at least as much as mentoring.

Schon argues that outstanding practitioners appear to have more “wisdom” and “artistry” than others (1987 p.13) and certainly, in the mentoring literature the mystical and wise properties of the mentor have often been referred to (Daloz 1986, Caldwell and Carter 1993, Smith and Alred 1994). The use of such terms, Schon suggests, tends to reinforce the elusiveness of any conventional strategies of explanation for these qualities and therefore, I would suggest, underscores, but does not articulate, what Schon calls the “largely unexamined epistemology of practice” (1987 p.13).

Smith and Alred (1994, p.103) have commented that “the idea of a ‘mentor’ has its origins in ways of thinking about the world that do not sit easily with the modern language of formal education.” They lament the demise of wisdom as a valuable attribute:

Until the last 20 or so years, perhaps, when it has been customary to reduce all kinds of quality, capacity, virtue, knowledge and understanding to ‘skills’, it was possible to speak without too much embarrassment of ‘wisdom’ as something like an enduring quality of certain kinds of human beings (Smith and Alred 1994 p.104).

Brookfield had also argued that “experience without critical analysis can be little more than anecdotal reminiscence; interesting but unconnected, experiential travelers’ tales from the front lines of practice” (Brookfield 1993 p.30 reporting from Usher and Bryant 1989).


Coaching has emerged from a synthesis of many fields including training, adult learning, consulting, change management, the human potential movement, psychology and systems science. Each of these fields has their own models and approaches to coaching. The various schools of thought agree on little, except that “coaching works,” and that more of it should be done. There is no widely accepted theoretical framework that explains why we need it, how it actually works and how to do it better.

There is not a specific definition to the term coaching but different authors of management have defined it in their own way, the common among all these definitions is the improvement of the skills and abilities of individuals and groups in organization. The more simple definition of coaching could be “A process of guided individual discovery which results in:

Increased personal awareness and understanding

Specific action planning

Experiential learning and skill building

Goal setting, and accountability for goal achievement

Supported risk taking and experimentation

Coaching a “Process” and “Program”

Coaching in any business organization can be a process and a program, how and in which case it would be a process and in which case it will be a program is shown as below.

Coaching as a process:

• An approach to interacting with others focused more on asking than telling

• Can be utilized by anyone

• Is being strongly encouraged as a leadership style at Abbott

• Curriculum courses teach the skills for using a coach approach to working with

Coaching as a program:

• A specific tool for development and achievement/excellence

• Often confused/contrasted with mentoring


Mentoring has become a visible and popular strategy for supporting the development of disadvantaged youth (Walker, 2000). It is easy to understand and intuitively appealing. Adults who can identify a mentor in their own lives need no convincing that a mentor can be important, even life-changing. Popular representations of mentors, as in the films Steel Magnolias and Music of the Heart, and the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, provide vivid images of mentors and their protégés. The prospect of becoming a mentor offers a way for people who care about inequality in our society to make a difference. For those who question the value of costly government programs, mentoring appears to be a low-cost alternative that can be sponsored by local organizations and built into existing programs. [Mary Agnes Hamilton and Stephen F. Hamilton]

workplace mentor as “an employee or other individual, approved by the employer at a workplace, who possesses the skills and knowledge to be mastered by a student, and who instructs the student, critiques the performance of a student, challenges the student to perform well, and works in consultation with classroom teachers and the employer of the student.” [The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 USA]

Importance of Mentoring

Mentoring is a professional activity, a trusted relationship, a meaningful commitment. The origins of mentoring can be traced back to ancient Greece as a technique to impart to young men important social, spiritual, and personal values. Mentoring as we know it today is loosely modeled on the historical craftsman/apprentice relationship, where young people learned a trade by shadowing the master artisan. In the mid-70s, corporate America redefined mentoring as a career development strategy. The concept of mentoring faculty and administrators is relatively new to higher education and rare in information technology circles, where staff professional development often takes the form of technical manuals and certifications. It is precisely this type of support organization, however, that needs a strong foundation of mentoring to build and retain a healthy workforce that can react quickly to change and can develop, adapt, and regenerate itself over time. Mentoring relationships range from loosely defined, informal collegial associations in which a mentee learns by observation and example to structured, formal agreements between expert and novice co-mentors where each develops professionally through the two-way transfer of experience and perspective.

Whether the relationship is deemed formal or informal, the goal of mentoring is to provide career advice as well as both professional and personal enrichment. For this chapter, we define a mentoring relationship as helping and supporting people to “manage their own learning in order to maximize their professional potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be.”

A successful workplace mentoring relationship assists in the development and future employability of youth; and, as a result, helps to create a highly skilled and educated workforce. The following individuals have been identified as key members in the workplace mentoring relationship:

the workplace mentor;

the workplace manager/supervisor;

staff; and

The intern.

Difference between coaching and mentoring

Most of the people considers both the mentoring and coaching as same activities, but both these activities are slightly different from each others, so the organization management should be very clear about the concepts behind both these activities, the way they should be performed / conducted, and the method which should be applied to get the best results out of these activities.



Mentor is Subject Matter Expert

Mentor shares personal perspectives

Mentor uses teaching paradigm; focused on what mentor knows

Protégée listens/Mentor shares

Focused on development

Utilized to pass on experience, information, knowledge, skill, wisdom

May focus on actions steps, goals, and accountability (depending on mentor style and relationship goals)

Pre-training; one year relationship

Monthly meetings, typically

Minimal to no cost

Excellent mentors use coaching approaches, but the focus in on sharing the knowledge and wisdom of the mentor

Mentors come from inside the organization

Metaphor: Teaches the employee to fish, and helps them find the best spots

The employee will benefit from specific knowledge about the organization’s culture, values, and norms, especially when the information is informal and difficult to obtain from traditional sources

The employee is reasonably clear about their career and developmental goals

The employee will be helped by receiving direction

Coach is Process Expert

Coaches shares personal perspectives

Coach uses questioning paradigm; focused on what coaches can learn

Coaches talks/ Coach listens and questions

Focused on any goal or achievement important to coaches

Utilized learn and experience new information, skills, wisdom, and knowledge

Always focuses on action steps, goals, and accountability

No pre-training; often 3-12 months, depending on goals.

Weekly or bi-weekly meetings, typically

No cost if coach internal; external coaches range $500-$2000/month

Excellent coaches are “ego-less, ” and focused entirely on helping the coachee learn by experience, self-discovery, and application of knowledge gained from multiple sources

Coaches can come from inside our outside the organization

Metaphor: Helps the employee decide if fishing is important to them, and if so, helps them find and utilize the best techniques based on their desired results

The employee is a senior or more experienced leader; or where developmental issues may require strict confidentiality

There is a strong desire or need to practice, apply, or implement new skills and behaviors. Excellent complement to traditional training.

The employee realizes there is a gap between where they are and where they want to be (skills, knowledge, career, achievement, etc), but isn’t sure how to address it

The employee will be helped by sustained, objective support

Effective coach and mentor skills

A person who has proper experience of working as coach or mentor, the required qualifications and abilities, and some past career records, he will be called a successful coach or mentor if he receive the desired results. Different organizations in order to get the right person for coaching and mentoring choose different individuals on the base of different criteria, but some well structured and recognized organization use the program of coaching and mentoring, following are detail information on that program.

Following are the characteristics of effective coach and mentor in an organization (regardless of the business type and structure of the organization)

An effective coach or mentor is that person who

Contribute to the design, development and objectives of the employees individual job and duties, personal and professional skill development plan;

Provide the employees with an overview of the business, division functions and workplace rules, policies and procedures (including work-ethic issues, the organizational culture, unwritten rules and the social aspects of work);

Explain the organization’s goals to the employees and discuss how each division contributes to the achievement of goals;

Help the employees understand his or her job responsibilities;

Help the employees learn about other career opportunities within the organization and the employee’s chosen career cluster(s);

Assist the student in identifying and developing specific occupational, technical skills and the core academic and employability skills

Help the employees see connections between different on job course and training learning and the workplace;

Point out the differences between organization inner and outer work environments, including acceptable behavior and performance expectations;

help build the employee’s self-esteem and confidence by providing opportunities for success in the workplace and positively reinforcing accomplishments;

guide the employees in work-related decision making, goal setting, prioritizing and scheduling;

provide feedback necessary for the employee’s to perform effectively, highlighting strengths and opportunities for growth and correcting inappropriate behavior;

seek out the employee’s opinions and suggestions;

formally or informally evaluate the employee’s work performance;

coach the employee to continuously improve work performance and encourage ongoing self-assessment;

help the employees to resolve conflicts, clarify issues and cope with stressful situations;

make suggestions concerning appropriate work assignments, targets specifications, training and supervisory staff;

act as a liaison between workplace and school staff, mediating when necessary and maintaining communication with school staff concerning employee’s progress (may share this responsibility with workplace managers);

encourage the employees to continue educational, personal and professional development;

increase the employee’s awareness of career resources, networking opportunities and professional associations;

Model behaviors that lead to workplace success, including respectful communication and cooperation with colleagues; and evaluate self and student.

Difference between a coach and mentor

Following table shows the differences between the characteristics of two individuals working, one a coach and the other as mentor



Informal-Friendship Relation

Formal-Professional Relation

The Mentees and the Mentor relationship is developed based on friendship, both contribute – To the relation with their experiences and competencies.

The relation between the Coach and the Coachee is developed on a professional base. The roles and the areas of work are well defined and structured.

The relation is focused on the

development and on the relation in


The relation is kind of Big


The relation is focused on the


There is an informal mutual

agreement to the Mentoring


There is a “contract” between the Coach and the Coachee, regarding the approach, the areas to address and the limits/boundaries.



There is a focus on the transfer of specific skills, knowledge and competencies from the Mentor to the Mentees.

There is a focus in the development of confidence, skills, behaviors and attitudes related to training, the Coach is supporting this development.

Teaching, modeling

Observing, giving feedback,

Process of Coaching and Mentoring

The process of coaching and mentoring largely depends on the situation when these activities are carried out, or we can say that what are the demands for these activities, for example if the employees of an organization are lacking in improving their personal and professional skills, they need so coaching activities like training and development on long term basis, which means the project will run for long, but if the organization has deployed new computer information system for their employees to make the daily operations of the organization successful, efficient and quick, for that the organization needs to conduct the coaching and mentoring activities on urgent basis to cope the employees with the new system and start the production through new system as soon as possible.

Following are the main point’s in common coaching and mentoring process

Analysis of the situation

During this phase the management of the organization looks at the needs and demand for coaching and mentoring activities in their organization, what are the demand from the organisaiton, which type of coaching and mentoring activity they need, how they management can help the employees to come out of the problems they are facing, and make them able to complete the roles and responsibilities of their job which will indeed leads the organization toward the achievement of their business goals and objectives.

Agreement on performance / problem solution

After the exploration of the problem, identification of the needs for the coaching and mentoring activities, the identification of areas which needs development, now this is the stage to agree on performance goals, measure the trust level on the level of performance improvement, what are the targets and are all the people associated with the process are agreed on the targets and how to achieve those goals and targets, and also the targets must be achievable, and realistic one.

Exploration of resources

This phase comes when the organization set the targets for coaching and takes all the stakeholders who are associated with the process on board then the management looks at the available resources within the organization, will they be satisfy the needs from the organization, and if not then what are the available resources for organization outside which they can use and achieve the targets of coaching and mentoring.

Implementation / learning

The phase of implementation is that in which all the associated persons and teams try to implement what they planned in the early stages of the coaching and mentoring process. During implementation phase the focus is on the achievement of the targeted results and make sure the all the people learn from the activities as they will wishing to continue such activities in future if they get the results of the process and feel the improvement in the areas they were looking for.

of the agreed actions in the first stages of the coaching and mentoring process.

Action for coaching and mentoring

This is the phase in which the organizations looks for actions to be taken, the implementation of what was planned and try to achieve the targeted results, the activities of both coaching and mentoring are performed at this stage.

Evaluation of results

This stage is like the setting of the milestones to evaluate the results of the both process (coaching and mentoring), the management set a criteria for the evaluation of the processes, they compare the end results with the objectives of the process set initially, and rank the process as good, satisfactory or bad if they were unable to achieve the results what they were expecting from that.

Leadership theories / motivation effects on coaching and mentoring

In orgnisation business environment it is very important to have some individual with righ skills and knowledge who can lead the teams towards the achievement of their goals and orgnisation objectives. These are the leaders who motivate their staff to make them able to be on right work, on right time and at right place.

The term motivation is an effort which makes the people to act or perform their job role in organization in the way they are happy with and the organization receive the desire output. Sometime it is very hard in business environment that what the management want in certain way is very difficult for some individuals who want to do it in their own way. So the management focus on different activities of coaching and mentoring to achieve the organization goals in through the proper use of their human resources in a way which is very easy for the human / employees to adopt and in the way which make them feel easiness of the work and also attraction and charm to work for that organization.

Motivation begins with the needs that exist within us. If these are unsatisfied we establish a goal, consciously or unconsciously, and take action to achieve that goal. People sometimes make the mistake of trying to motivate others on the basis of faulty assumptions about their future behavior. We observe behavior and draw conclusions from it, but very often we do not know what the motivating factor is.

There are different theories of motivation by different management authors, following are the very common and widely use by organizations.

Douglas McGregor: Theory X and Theory Y: these both theories are in contradiction with each other, one give importance to the self motivation of the employees working for the organization on the basis of honesty in their work, while the other consider human as dishonest and who don’t want to work, means min level of motivation. In case of theory X management style in the organization the coaching and mentoring activities should be a tough task as compared to theory Y which state the human like to work and are self motivated, so the management of theory X mind set of organization will need to work a lot and use their leadership skills to improve their employees skills and abilities through proper processes of coaching and mentoring.

Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of human needs: In Motivation and Personality, Maslow concluded we are driven by our inner needs which form a series of steps, and people need to satisfy each one before they can move on to the next. It includes steps like basic needs which is the first intention of each and every human being, then comes the needs of ego which after the fulfillment of the basic needs is by nature the human wants, to stay in society and become a member of the society is also one of the major needs of human, then safety issues, because every human wants the safety of his or her life, property and status in the society when their physical needs are satisfied. This theory shows that humans can be motivated by fulfilling their different needs at different time within the work environment.

In case of the organization have implemented this theory for motivation of their staff and management persons, then they will have to develop different coaching and mentoring activities at different levels in their organization, because one coaching in mentoring activity will worth a lot for a person who is looking for the fulfillment of his basic needs while the other may have no interest while they are in search of the satisfaction of the needs of their ego. So organization management must be very aware of the needs of all individuals in the organization and then design the coaching and mentoring activities for them.

Frederick Hertzberg: Work needs: Hertzberg identified the following true motivators as contributing to high morale and job satisfaction: achievement, recognition, responsibility, promotion, prospects nature of the job. The organization who believes in Fredrick theory of leadership and motivation may need firs to investigate that are the basic needs of their employees are satisfied by the organization, if the answer is positive then they can look into different methods and techniques of coaching and mentoring.

The leaders of any organization must consider following points before going into proper coaching and mentoring activity decision for the employees in the organization.

Develops a climate of collaboration in which professional learning can flourish and in which individuals feel comfortable to express their desire to change and improve.

Identifies professional learning needs that really do need to be met in order to raise standards and attainment.

Develops processes and procedures to support the coaching and mentoring that are based upon best practice.

Redefines people’s work roles so that the coaching/mentoring function is integrated and receives sufficient time and priority. This is especially significant in the context of school change within the Re modeling agenda.

Selects coaches and mentors who possess personal and professional qualities of the highest order and provides ongoing training and development.

Ensures that the individuals involved appreciate the responsibility they have for each other’s professional development and places the control of this development with the individual.

Defines the scope of the coaching relationship and where it fits within broader school development.

Evaluates the impact of the coaching work at both individual and organizational level.

Task 2

Following are the main objective of the assignment task 2

Critically evaluate how the current academic debate on coaching and mentoring will enable you as a Human Resources Manager to instill the importance and value of coaching and mentoring to organizations.

Critically reflect on how your academic research on coaching and mentoring has contributed to the development of your subject knowledge on Human resources.

Critically reflect on your achievement of any two of the module learning outcomes

The objective of this task is to do the critical review of the academic debate, learning’s and outcomes of the course studied and the preparation of the assignment.

Academic Debate

Each and every organization want to achieve the goals of their business and objectives of their organization, it is only possible if they have proper resources and proper utilization of those resources is also an important issue, as human are one of the most important resource in every organization and all the management writer agree with this that human must be well trained, skills, and motivated if the organization wants to achieve the goals of their business. The organization deeply depends on people for to act as a coach and mentor but it is very important to find the right person who fills in the right place in the organization. They place strong emphasis on personal attributes in selecting and developing staff. However, this does not come without challenges, not least of which may be (significant) gaps in the experience, knowledge, attitudes, skills, aspirations, behaviors, or leadership required to perform demanding jobs. Formal training courses may vaunt wholesale transfer of these; but employees will not likely stretch to their full potential without dedicated guidance that inspires, energizes, and facilitates. In the new millennium, good coaching and mentoring schemes are deemed a highly effective way to help people, through talking, increase self-direction, self esteem, efficacy, and accomplishments.

While doing critical review of the academic debate I will suggest the instead of formalization of coaching and mentoring activities in small scale organization it will be a good practice to use some informal techniques and ways to coach and mentor people and achieve the desired results by them, for large scale organization they need to adopt a certain motivation theory of combination of some theories and make the process easy and understandable for the employees who are working for them, the employees must understand the importance of the coaching and mentoring activities which the management of the organization conduct for them and actively participate in those activities for their own personal and professional skills development, and learn the knowledge and information which will make them able to perform their job role very efficient and effectively.

Critical reflection of outcomes / learning

This course not just only provide me the information about the theories and concepts of the coaching and mentoring, but also provide me enough information on different practices of leadership, motivation and other mangemnt activities which are in strong coordination with the coaching and mentoring activities. During the work on the final assignment I come across some practical issues in differen organisaiton while conducting the coaching and mentoring operations.

But one thing which I feel is to be include in the course content is the practical application of what we are taught in class rooms or we study during the preparation of the assignments, because without application knowledge not of that much use, and as future managers the management students should be provided opportunity to take part in management activities during their studies. In the assignment it was also just a theroritical study, and I may not be wrong in saying it just a descriptive study, I also feel the need of the proper assignment with some case studies which may include the application of different theories and practices of the motivation, leadership, coaching and mentoring.

At last I will appreciate the course contents and the way we were delivered the academic lectures and information, and I feel was sufficient to fulfill the requirement of the course and will be very helpful in future needs as a manager.