Whereas mediation is a process of conflict resolution between adversarial parties, coaching is a process of individual counselling which has no judicial component whatsoever.
Coaching starts where training normally ends; it is a person to person activity in a situation of trust to address problems mainly in the field of leadership.
The coach seeks to introduce the leader to multifarious perspectives on a particular problem and to motivate the leader to make maximum use of his own personal resources in an attempt to solve the problem.
Coaching does not normally involve a single session of counselling but is an ongoing multisession process which usually involves 3 - 10 sessions.
What is the difference between coaching and mediation?
What is Coaching?
Coaching seeks to enhance the social skills of the leader i.e. to develop positive leadership skills, and does not normally involve technical problems of the enterprise.
While a general leadership seminar covers a broader range of points, the process of coaching zeroes in on these few essential points which are the achilles heel of the otherwise successful manager.
Coaching may be appropriate when ...
- the leader, while possessing expertise in technical matters, lacks the necessary diplomatic or other social skills to reach his targets
- the leader does not command the necessary respect from subordinates to reach his goals
- the leader lacks necessary experience in leadership and/or self esteem
- the leader does not have the time or the inclination to attend a full length leadership seminar
- the leader desires the assessment of various problem situations by an independent third party.
Coaching has either been self initiated or has been suggested by the leaders superior. If coaching has been suggested by the leaders superior it is vital that this be a completely voluntary and willing initiative. If the leader has engaged the coach while under any sort of pressure by his superior to do so, this will only be counterproductive to attaining the desired result.
What goes on in a coaching session?
- Before the coaching begins, the coach seeks to establish a basis of mutual trust and understanding. In the situation that the coaching has been initiated by the leaders superior it must be clarified, that the targets or goals suggested by the leaders superior are ones that the coach himself can support.
- The first step in coaching is identification of the goals to be reached. If coaching has been initiated by the leader himself, this should be a transparent process; if the coaching has been initiated by the leaders superior, some discussion may be required to identify the goals and to elicit the support of the leader.
After the process of identification the coach will than seek to outline the future directions of the session. Although coaching is an individual affair, there are certain recurring themes, ideas and approaches which include the following:
Analysis of the situation:
understanding of the essential points of the problem, understanding the need for behavioural change, understanding the goal to be reached.
- Learning how to accept and benefit from the constructive criticism offered by others:
inculcating proper perspectival views of the problem, acquiring sensitivity to the earliest beginnings of progress, constantly pointing and guiding the way toward the solution of complex problems.
- Understanding problems and conflicts:
learning how to rationally defend ones positions, constructive and respectful identification of the coachees blind areas, enlarging the repertoire of social skills to enable dealing with a wide variety of situations which heretofore seemed insuperable.
- A look ahead to person growth:
encouraging the resolve of the coachee to reach certain short/middle/long-term goals, encouraging a process of continuing self auditing.
What can coaching accomplish?
Through a proper coaching process hitherto insurmountable problems in the work place can be tackled and straightened away in a matter of 4 - 5 months.
How can coaching do this?
The experienced coach is able to select the most important issues and targets which enhance leadership skills. Through a serious analysis the coachee is made to reflect upon his weak points and to think off the beaten track.
By the coaches mere presence he can help to concentrate the mind of the coachee toward problem solving. The coachee comes to realize that the mere fact, that his company is financing these sessions is an indication of their confidence in him as a valuable resource for the company, and thereby increases his own feeling of self-worth.
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