Briefing On Coaching And Mentoring Management Essay

This paper will critically assess the main approaches to coaching and mentoring; identify information needed to establish and implement effective strategies for coaching and mentoring; it will also identify the main barriers and blockages to effective coaching and mentoring; and lastly, it will expand on the requirements of an effective coaching and mentoring strategy.

This paper will provide answer to the following questions:

Identify and critically analyse the barriers and blockages that may occur to the successful implementation of a coaching and mentoring scheme at Coca-Cola Foods

Identify management strategies that could be used to overcome blockages.

Discuss the role played by key workplace stakeholders in enabling a learning culture in the workplace and identify how they could be used to help ensure that coaching and mentoring scheme was fully accepted and allowed to run successfully.

What is coaching and mentoring?

According to a journal from the (CIMA) website titled “technical briefing: mentoring and coaching (2002)”, there is no universal definition for either of the terms (coaching and mentoring), as it can be defined differently in different contexts. For example: in Australia, wild life coaching is likely to be associated with humanistic psychology, whereas in the UK, is more likely to be associated with fringe medicine (Clutterbuck, D., 2008). However, in this paper coaching and mentoring is discussed in an organisational context.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) factsheet (2011) describes coaching and mentoring as a development technique used to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge or work performance based on the use of one-to-one discussion.

Parsloe (1999, p8) defined coaching as, “… a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve”. He also added that in order to become a successful coach, one will need a comprehensive understanding of the various process, styles, skills, and techniques appropriate to different coaching situations.

On the other hand, “mentoring relates primarily to the identification and nurturing of potential for the whole person” (Megginson & Clutterbuck, 2005). In other words, a mentor acts as an adviser, counsellor, role model, and also, helps the client build a wider network from which to learn and influence.

The differences between coaching and mentoring.

The table below shows the differences between coaching and mentoring (Clutterbuck, 2008; Praxis Paper 14, 2007; CIMA Technical Briefing, January 2002).



Addresses performance in some aspect of an individual’s work or life.

Often associated with the entire development and career progress of an individual’s work or life.

More task-oriented, skills-focused, directed and time-bound.

More open-ended personal development.

Focuses on achieving specific objectives, usually within a preferred time period.

Follows an open evolving agenda and deals with a range of issues.

Similarities in coaching and mentoring.

In some cases, coaching and mentoring share some common features such as:

Both coaching and mentoring has to do with asking the right questions in order to generate individual self-awareness which can, in turn, lead to informed decision making, at whatever level of concern.

They both offer a medium for analysis, reflection and action that ultimately allows the individual to improve in one more areas of their life or work.

Coaching and mentoring are both linked with organizational change initiatives in order to help staff to accept and adapt to changes in a manner consistent with their personal values and goals.

Why are coaching and mentoring programs important for organizations?

Several organizations use coaching and mentoring programs as a fundamental part of the human resource development approach (Ensher & Murphy (2010).

Organizations benefit from coaching and mentoring programs as employees increase their sense of loyalty and commitment as a result of effective communication (Ensher & Murphy (2010).

Coaching and mentoring programs are also used as a tool by organizations to attract new employees, and for the retention of high potential talent.

Coaching and mentoring programs offers a preventive option to improve performance before it becomes costly to the organization (Praxis Paper 14, 2007).

With today’s complex and fast-changing working environment, self-awareness, trust and relationships between managers and employees is vital. Therefore, coaching and mentoring programs offers a two-way relationship with both the individuals and the organizations, providing the opportunity to address such issues in a non-threatening way (Praxis Paper 14, 2007).

What types of approaches and models are available for coaching and mentoring?

It has been stated that coaching and mentoring can be seen as different styles on a continuum, with different approaches being suitable in different circumstances (Praxis Paper 14, 2007).

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Coaching Mentoring

Figure 1: The Coaching/Mentoring Continuum (Praxis Paper 14, 2007)

Main aim:

Skills Performance Potential Personal


Finite/concrete Role/competencies Complex/evolving


Directive Non-directive


Shorter Longer

The most appropriate approach depends on the main aim of the intervention. These could be:

Develop their skills: the coach usually has does a lot of “telling” and has specific and clear goals on how to develop the coachee’s skills. In most occasions, they have the expertise in the related field and want to pass it on.

Improve their performance: the coach usually pays particular attention to the behaviour of the coachee, allowing the coach to observe any “block” that could affect the coachee’s performance. The GROW model can be applied in this situation. The GROW model is a performance coaching model where the coach asks a series of questions relating to the coachee’s Goal, their Reality, their Options and their Will.

Maximise their potential: in this approach, the coach focuses on assisting the coachee to increase and expand their human capacities aiming at producing insight that allows them to see their situation from a different and wider perspective. A tool that can be used in this situation is the OSKAR model (Outcome, Scaling, Know-how and Resources). This model focuses on bringing out the existing skills and capabilities of the coachee to attain their self-defined goals.

Proactively become the person they want to be: this approach offers the coachee a chance to stretch and challenge themselves to learn. The coach usually focuses on the coachee’s whole life (not just work) and does a lot of asking questions and listening. A well suited model for this approach will be the co-active, as it balances is the four corner coaching stones (the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole; it addresses the client’s whole life; the agenda comes from the client; and the relationship is designed alliance) to restore and give fulfilling meaning to the client’s life.

Stages in developing and implementing effective coaching and mentoring strategies.

Burley & Pomphrey, 2011cited in Clutterbuck (2003), identifies three main stages for developing and implementing effective coaching and mentoring as: context, process and outcome. These stages will enable the coach decide on the appropriate approach suitable for the intervention.

An example of a typical coaching and mentoring process entails (Friday, E. & Friday, S.S., 2002):

Identifying the various target audiences the programs are to serve;

Identifying the criteria for selecting mentees and mentors;

Recruiting qualified mentees and mentors;

Interviewing and selecting mentees and mentors;

Matching and training mentees and mentors;

Evaluating the mentee-mentor experience.

Putting Coaching and Mentoring into practice: A case study of Coca-Cola Foods

To address the first question, this section will briefly describe the company (Coca-Cola Foods) and the coaching and mentoring scheme implemented, it will also identify the barriers and blockages that was encountered during this process.

Company overview

Coca Cola is the number one manufacturer of soft drinks and also one of the most recognizable brands in the world and in the world. With their headquarters is situated in Atlanta Georgia. Coca-Cola sells nearly 400 different products in more than 200 different countries. 70% of its sales are generated outside of North America. Production is based on the franchise system

Coca-Cola coaching and mentoring program (Veale & Wachtel, 1996).

Human Resource Development is considered as a key to building competitive advantage in Coca-Cola Foods. The company views coaching and mentoring as a tool for directly enhancing performance that is to continuously build employee’s skills in order to the creation of a high-performing organization. A challenge Coca-Cola was facing was the struggle to maximize and/or optimize their Human Resource Development’s contribution to business success.

In order to tackle this challenge, the company created a system of mentoring programs tools which included one -on-one mentoring, group mentoring and mentoring self-study. Up with the following approaches:

– To strengthen the link between business strategy and developmental focus;

– To involve leadership of the organization in all aspects of development;

– To use a variety of developmental tools to match personal and organizational needs better.

The main aim of the coaching and mentoring program at Coca-Cola is to help the individual (employee) better understand the company and his or her role in it.

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However, the case study focuses on the coaching and mentoring processes used by the company to develop their employees. To maximize the benefits of coaching and mentoring, Coca-Cola Foods trains managers to establish a communication environment of mutual respect that is problem-focused and change-oriented.

Some of the coaching and mentoring models used by Coca-Cola Foods in their training programmes are:

The Hersey-Blanchard model with its emphasis on both task and support skills as a requirement of good coaching. This model focuses on using different leadership styles. For example, instead of using just one style, the model encourages successful leaders to change their leadership styles based on the maturity of the people they’re leading and the details of the task.

Also, the company uses Front-line Leadership programme which has basic principles defining the tone and style of the conversation, and then other modules focused on the formats for communicating to enhance performance. The Front-line Leadership series clearly advocates mutual goal setting, discussion and problem solving within an atmosphere of trust and collaboration.

Some potential barriers and blockages that could occur while implementing the coaching and mentoring program.

When a coaching and mentoring programme is initiated in an organisation, it is necessary to understand the potential barriers that may occur for both members of the relationship. Considering these in advance and pointing them out to the potential coach and coachee may help to overcome them at an early stage.

The incorrect matching of mentors/coaches and coachee/ protégés;

The lack of managerial support;

The resentment felt by those not involved in the coaching and mentoring programmes, perhaps due to a perception or favouritism;

The creation of false promotional expectations;

The overdependence of the mentor or mentee;

Gender inequality;

Blurring of role boundaries

There are a number of factors which will contribute towards a successful relationship between mentor and mentee during the coaching and mentoring processes:

Commitment and interest of the individuals involved

Sufficient resources and organisational support

Taking a holistic, personal approach

Embedding the process in the organisational context

Skills and experience of coaches and mentors

Recognition of cross-cultural issues

Ensuring an enabling external environment.

Managerial strategies that could be used to overcome blockages.

There are different ways a mentee can be supported, checked, encouraged and given constructive feedback. With each strategy, it is important to be aware of its purpose, appropriateness, the likely impact and its value to the mentee.

Strategies can include:

Giving advice – offering the mentee your opinion on the best course of action.

Giving information – giving information on a specific situation (e.g. contact for resource).

Taking action in support – doing something on the mentee’s behalf.

Observing and giving feedback – work shadowing and observation by either or both parties. Observation coupled with constructive feedback is a powerful learning tool.

Reviewing – reflection on experience can develop understanding allowing one to consider future needs, explore options and strategies.

The selection of strategies can be guided by a number of factors, such as:

Values and principles underpinning the mentoring scheme – in this case, encouraging self sufficiency and empowerment.

Shared understanding between mentee and mentor of the purpose behind the mentoring relationship.

Quality and level of the professional relationship.

Level of experience and need of the mentee.

Level of mentor’s own awareness and comfort with the mentoring process

Managers will require the following skills for them to be good coaches and mentors:

The role of stakeholders in coaching and mentoring

It is crucial for managers to see the value and understand the importance of developing individuals, teams and the overall organisation.

The primary relationship in any coaching or mentoring scheme is between the coach/mentor and the individual, but this may not be the only important relationship. Other key stakeholders such as the people representing the organisation’s interests, in most cases an HR and/or learning and development practitioner, and the individual’s manager. All of these parties are interested in improving the individual’s performance and therefore their contribution to the organisation.

In the case Coca-Cola Foods, a ten-part coaching and mentoring scheme was initiated. Most facilitated mentoring programmes have a formal process which defines each step and audits the ongoing success of the programme. Although these processes will differ somewhat in how they address the needs of the stakeholders, most programmes generally follow procedures similar to those below:

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Mentees identified: in this step, Coca- Cola Foods identifies the group of people who are eligible for the mentoring programme. This can be done in a variety of ways looking at certain job levels, departments, employee characteristics, etc. Once the target group is defined, specific mentees can be identified by having them volunteer, be nominated by a boss or other sponsor.

Identify developmental needs: the developmental needs are determined and an individual development plan is prepared in this stage. This can be done by having the mentees disclose what they think are their developmental needs, having bosses determine these needs, and/or having skill deficiencies revealed through assessment.

Identify potential mentors: this step produces a pool of individuals who can serve as mentors. They may volunteer for the role, may be chosen by a mentee, or may be recruited by senior managers. Prior to selection, a mentor’s general ability and willingness to handle the role should be assessed.

Mentor/mentees matching: a mentor is selected for a specific mentee after considering the skills and knowledge needed by the mentee and the ability of the mentor to provide practice or guidance in those areas. Compatibility of styles and personalities can be critical.

Mentor and mentee orientation: before the start of the mentoring relationship, an orientation is held for both the mentors and mentees. For mentors this orientation covers time commitments, types of activities, time and budget support, the relationship with the natural boss, reporting requirements and the mentee’s responsibility for the development.

Contracting: a clear agreement is an essential foundation for a good mentoring relationship. It includes a development plan, confidentiality requirement, the duration of the relationship, frequency of the meetings, time to be invested in mentoring activities by each party, and the role of the mentor.

Periodic meetings: most mentors and mentees meet for performance planning, coaching, and feedback sessions. The frequency can be determined by the nature of the relationship and by geographical proximity. At these meetings, both parties are candid about progress of the process.

Periodic reports: it will be easier to evaluate the success of the mentoring programme if periodic status reports are by both the mentor and mentee. Depending on the level of formality in the programme, this step may or may not occur.

Conclusion: a mentoring relationship concludes when the items delineated in the initial agreement have been accomplished or when time/business/budget constraints will prevent the relationships from continuing. It may also be concluded when one of the pair believes it is no longer productive for them to work together.

Evaluation and follow-up: after the relationship concludes, both the mentor and mentee are questioned, via interviews or other assessment instruments, about the value of the process, timing, logistics, time constraints and any other valid concerns that could affect the mentoring process.

Communication is a plays a major role in building a coach/coachee relationship. Both parties can benefit from analysing a number of key skills (active listening and questioning).

The skill of Active Listening

Active listening is the ability to listen and internalise what is being said, essentially listening and understanding. You can use your whole self to convey the message of an active listener involved in the discussion, showing interest, gaining trust and respect. This can be achieved by using verbal and non-verbal communication.

Using the art of questioning

Questioning, if used effectively, is a very useful and powerful tool. It allows the mentee-mentor relationship to develop, assisting the mentee in exploring and understanding their experiences with the hope of formulating avenues and actions for the future.


The implementation of coaching and mentoring programmes at Coca-Cola was successful, as these programs helped strengthen the company and also fostered professional growth and development for the employees. Because there is a great deal of evidence regarding the important contributions which mentors make to career success, and because Coca-Cola has tied both mentor and coaching programmes to business goals, it would seem that Coca-Cola Foods’ approach is in line with both the scientific evidence and with recent proponents of achieving competitive advantage through people.

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