Coaching and Mentoring

How is it different from consulting?

Coaching is about improving skills. This requires the ability to assess current skill levels, identify what skills and what level of skills are required to perform a role. Mentoring is a stuctured and trusting relationship that enables the mentor to guide, support and encourage the mentee to perform most effectively in their chosen role. Hence coaching and mentoring are often a combined role but always these roles are between two people.

A "Consulting" role is about understanding a specific existing situation, the desired goals and providing advice on achieving the outcome. Consulting is focussed on the situation. It is about the "advice".

What is Coaching and Mentoring?

It is about using what needs to be done each day to conduct an ongoing conversation to build for the future. It covers developing skills but it is not a one on one training course. It is about building someones career but it also is about being a sounding board, especially for those difficult and complex situations that appear not to have right and wrong answers.

Coaching and mentoring for a leader of an organisation will frequently place most effort around the culture of the organisation. Culture is hard. It impacts performance, co-operation and innovation.


  • A performance culture stimulates its members to do their best, to go that extra mile, to take initiative and constantly improve everything that is done within the organisation. It accepts mistakes by turning them into learning opportunities. It measure outcomes to improve execution.
  • An honest culture ensures members understand reality. Important things are clear and understood. Members are honest with each other and themselves.
  • A merit based culture rewards people based upon the value of their contribution.


  • A mutually trusting culture trusts other member's motivation and trusts in their skills to get the job done.
  • A reciprocating culture encourages its members to "do unto others what you would like other to do for you".
  • A culture with a shared purpose has members who put the organisation's interests ahead of their own and behave as if everyone is in this together.


  • A nonhierarchial culture provides permission for everyone to challenge ideas and provide ideas for the organisation's good. Value and argument are all that counts never titles or positions.
  • An open culture welcomes new ideas regardless from where they came.
  • An evidenced based culture ensures that the facts are established first and argument is based on hard evidence not opinion.
  • A challenging culture ensures that there is a sense of competitive urgency - always.

A great 11 minute video on what motivates and engages people in complex, intellectually demanding roles.