Leadership Coaching and mentoring are two useful tools in the arsenal of any committed leader. The two are very different and you'll need to know the difference between the two to be able to add them as tools for yourself. Most of us need guidance at times from others who have the necessary abilities to help us move forwards.
Mentoring has really been around for years and years but coaching has developed and split off from mentoring to provide a specific focus-driven development for leaders. Leadership Coaching is specific in that it is more organised and is structured for a shorter period to work on professional topics or issues.
What is it? It's generally worked through a set time-frame which allows meetings which are very structured and organized. It's usually set in a short-term basis for an intense workshop on personal or professional issues. This is helpful as often leaders struggle at points to problem solve or re-program our responses (which can sometimes be destructive) without help from someone else. This is nothing to be ashamed about and is definitely not a weakness as long as you confront and acknowledge the need for help.
There are many people out there and they don't necessarily have specific experience in your role or industry but they still have the skills and knowledge to help you move forward. Usually its not industry-specific but rather generic issues or problems solving techniques which are worked out between the you and the individual one-on-one.. It is very goal-orientated which is helpful for leadership development from leadership coaching.
What is this designed for? Obviously specific development of short term problems. It is useful on a high level of leadership usually executive or prolific leaders. It is generally professional in that you'll hire a coach with specific time and goal orientated expectations. If you're struggling with something which you just can't work past this may be a useful option for you. Leadership coaching is also to do with implementing personal leadership goals.
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These contracts are not mystical or hundreds of pages of legal talk but a carefully negotiated and planned process. Here we focus on life coaching contracts for kids, but the principles can be applied in most areas of coaching.
What is it? Mentoring is more old-school but possibly more beneficial for all leaders. It is usually on a long-term basis and is performed by someone who has a lot more experience and ability then the men-tee. Usually its done on a more casual basis rather than time-specific formal meetings and the agenda is usually set by the men-tee instead of the mentor. The relationship usually addresses personal issues with a more holistic approach to the mentee. This is a better-overall leadership development but is more of long term success than short term goal achievements.
What is this designed for? This tool is tremendously helpful for any leader in their field of leadership and/or personal development. Having a constant voice of wisdom and good intent in your life helps to push you forward and gives you the release of knowing someone is there to give you direction and help to move forward. Mentoring is essential for any leader to develop their own leadership and have community with someone who has more knowledge and experience to add values to your life.This is vital for any team leader to be successful leaders of others and coaching is useful for team-leaders also.