Month: May 2020

Benefits of Reverse Mentoring

In the year 1999, the concept of reverse mentoring was popularized by Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric. He did a pilot study where he paired 500 senior and junior employees with the hope that junior will teach the senior employees about technology advancements.

This process worked and now young and bright can teach the old. The success of the pilot study helped other companies to adopt this model of reverse mentoring. Companies like Cisco, United Healthcare, Fidelity, etc developed their own reverse mentoring programs.

Reverse mentoring is a shared learning between colleagues of varied background to create a unified corporate learning. Main advantage is that it facilitates organisations to achieve strategic goals like increasing millennial retention, fostering inclusivity, and maintaining competitive advantage through technological advancements

Benefits of reverse mentoring

1- Increasing Millennial Retention

According to data, 43% of millennials plan to leave their current job in two years. Companies are struggling with this and coming up with new employee engagement strategies. But the younger generation demands continuous learning and transferable skill development, career advancements, better opportunities. All these things can be done through reverse mentoring.

Inverting the hierarchy helps millennials to act as mentors, they understand the situation, become more accountable and help the seniors to improve. Millennials feel valued for the contributions and they gain confidence also. Reverse mentoring also help millennials to network with senior leaders which will help them in their future career.

Pershing is a financial services company which implemented reverse mentoring program in their company and saw immense changes. The retention rate was 96% for the millennials who were involved in reverse mentoring.

2- Improving Diversity and Inclusion

Reverse mentoring is a good way to foster diversity and inclusion at the workplace. Pairing senior leaders with employees with disability or employees from different background will help to develop empathic perspective. This will also reduce the unconscious bias.

One of the examples can be, at P&G, senior leaders were paired with disabled employees and found out that the internal videos of the company are of no use for the people who have hearing disabilities. Then the company added captions to all videos which helped the disable people to understand the video.

This can also be an organizational development strategy which can incubate a diverse pipeline of talent.

3- Staying Abreast of Technological Advancements

A lot of senior leaders find it difficult to pace up with the rapid changes in the technological and digital advances. This hinders their productivity. Getting mentored by younger employees on technology will help senior leaders to learn about technology and they can also cope with it. It also helps in getting traditional IT workers out of their waterfall silos.

According to Deloitte, “organizations must put humans in the loop-reconstructing work, retaining people, and rearranging the organization.” Reverse mentoring has its own benefits and is vital for the company but each company should have a reason to implement this program. Reverse mentoring program will only be effective if it is tied to a strong business need.

Filed under: Mentoring

History of Transactional Leadership Theory

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leadership is a kind of leadership which focuses on results, conforms to the existing structure and measures success according to the organisation’s system of rewards.

Transactional leader maintains routine by managing individual performance and facilitate group performance. He/she has the formal authority and responsibility in an organisation. Transactional leaders set criteria for workers according to the already defined requirements. They work best with the employees who are aware of their jobs and are motivated by the reward-punishment system.

History of transactional leadership theory

A 20th-century German sociologist Max Weber did an extensive study on different leadership styles and divided into three main categories: traditional, charismatic, and rational-legal. Max Weber then described rational-legal – the style that is now known as transactional leadership- as “the exercise of control on the basis of knowledge.”

Transactional leadership theory is based on the concept that managers give employees something if they want something in return. It focuses on the point that workers are not self-motivated and require instruction, structure, and monitoring to complete tasks on time with accuracy.

This leadership style was widely used after World War II in the United States of America. This happened because there was a need to build a high level of structure and to maintain national stability.

According to Burns model, transactional leaders espouse fairness, responsibility, honesty, and honoring commitments.

Dimensions of transactional leadership are:

  1. Contingent reward – It a process of setting expectations from workers and rewarding for meeting them.
  2. Active management by exception – It is a process where managers anticipate the problems, monitors the progress and take corrective measures whenever required.
  3. Passive management by exception – It is a process where manager does not interfere with the ongoing work until and unless an issue arises.

Characteristics of transactional leadership style:

  1. Thrive on following rules and doing things correctly.
  2. Opposed and reluctant to change.
  3. Tend to be inflexible.
  4. Focuses on short-term goals.
  5. Favours structured policies and procedures.

Advantages of transactional leadership style:

  1. It provides an unambiguous structure for large organisations.
  2. It helps in achieving short term goals quickly and efficiently.
  3. Rewards and punishments are clearly defined.
  4. It provides rewards who are motivated by self-interest to follow instructions.

Disadvantages of transactional leadership style:

  1. It does not promote creativity as goals and objectives are already set.
  2. It does not reward personal initiative.
  3. Only provide financial rewards.

Multinational corporations is the place where transactional leadership can be of best use because not all the workers speak the same language. Once the structure is in place and requirements are learned, it is easy for workers to complete the tasks. Transactional leadership doesn’t require extensive training. It brings consistency across the organisation. This will work best during the time of crisissituation when it is important for everyone to know exactly what it is required and how the tasks need to be done under pressure.

Those people for ehich money and perks act as powerful motivator eill adjust well in the transactional leadership.

Some of the famous transactional leaders areHoward Schultz, Bill Gates,Vince Lombardi, Norman Schwarzkopf, etc.

Filed under: Leadership

Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are usually used interchangeably in the business context. That is why in a lot of organisations, a mentor is expected to undertake coaching responsibilities which hinder the process of coaching as well as mentoring. There is a significant difference between coaching and mentoring and both the process have their own value and significance.


Coaching is a relationship that generally has a short duration. In coaching, the coachee needs to be comfortable with the coach and should be open and honest about his/her situations.

Coaching is basically a process in which coach helps the coachee to achieve the goals. Coach helps in removing the barriers like prejudices, lack of motivation, lack of direction and enable coachee to fulfil his/her aspirations.

Coaching is a process which helps the individual to develop their skills like leadership, self-awareness, resilience, self-management, and learning. It also helps the coachee to develop empathy with others, to see the bigger picture clearly, and consider the issue that they may have ignored or failed to identify as important or crucial.

Coaching can be for a longer or a shorter-term depending upon the goals or needs of the individual. It is particularly powerful when used to solve problems regarding behavioral or line management. It is more structured in nature and usually, the meetings between coach and coachee are scheduled on a regular basis. In coaching, coachee sets the agenda and create immediate and realistic goal which will take him/her towards the ultimate target. These goals majorly revolves around specific personal developmental areas i.e. related to behaviour, attitudes, or self-awareness.

A coach is likely to give feedback on observed performance periodically as the learner develops new skills.


“A mentor is a more experienced individual willing to share knowledge with someone less experienced in a relationship of trust.”- David Clutterbuck

It is an ongoing process which usually lasts for a longer time. Mentoring process will only be successful when there is a constructive relationship between the mentor and mentee. It is a relationship where an experienced person uses his/her knowledge to help the less experienced person to improve or help to solve problems. Many organisations use mentoring while helping new people who have just joined the leadership for the first time, moved from one project to another, in a need to quickly learn new skills, need to learn different working styles in order to work effectively.

It can be either formal or informal in nature depending upon the situation or goals of the mentee. In mentoring the agenda is usually set by the mentee with the mentor providing some support or guidance. Goals usually revolve around developing mentees personally and professionally i.e. improving skills and their application at the workplace.

A mentor will build the capability of the mentee by helping him/her to discover wisdom by encouraging to work towards achieving the goals. Usually, the mentor doesn’t have the authority over mentee and the relationship is mutually beneficial. A mentor also helps mentees to develop greater confidence.

Filed under: Coaching

Coaching for Change Management

Dealing with change is a constant part of job whether it’s a small business, multinational corporation, non-profit organisation, etc. Changes like navigating a new CEO transition, company-wide technology shift, aligning internal practices to new industry regulations, launching new products, etc. are some of the changes to which the workforce needs to adapt and be proactive. Coaching is one of the most effective to deal with change and align the workforce with the change of any magnitude.

Most of the leader’s report that they were unsuccessful in their change management though change is very prevalent in modern organisations. Resistance from sceptical and fearful employees, insufficient training, poor communication is some of the reasons for unsuccessful change management.

How can coaching help in change management?

Coaching should be integrated at every stage of change management which includes planning, executing, and sustaining. This will help the employees to be ready and resilient towards the change.

Coaching means partnering with an expert in a thought-provoking process which helps the individual to maximise his/her personal and professional potential. This partnership puts the coachee at the driver’s seat because the solution to the problem should come from them as they are the expert in their field. Coaching is one of the powerful and helpful learning activities which ease out the challenge of navigating change.

One-on-one coaching, group coaching was rated as the most crucial for the change management for the company. Senior leaders should adopt coaching techniques to guide the employees during the transition period. Leaders should help the employees to identify and address the potential roadblocks and help them to deal with uncertainty in an effective manner.

Leaders should not tell or micro-manage the employees during the time of transition rather find the solution with them in order to ensure a smooth change process. Companies which adopt strong coaching culture were leaders work with employees, make them find the solution and be confident about it, are more than twice as likely to be high performing organisations. When leaders become coaches or adopt coaching techniques have more confidence in their employees to plan, execute, and sustain the change.

Coaching should be used at all stages so that employees’ issues can be taken care and they can become more confident during the change process. It also helps employees to be more agile. A strong coaching culture is correlated with better and higher performance of the organisation which includes success at larger scale for strategic change.

One-on-one coaching with a professional coach, workgroup coaching with professional coach practitioner, team coaching with professional coach, formal mentoring program, etc are some of the things which help in the smooth change management/ These processes are also better than other L&D activities like classroom learning, e-learning etc.

Coaching during organisational change helps the employees to have emotional, social, and process support. It is important to ensure that communication and transparency between the leaders and employees are constant. Employees should always receive proper change management coaching as this will help in their journey at workplace.

Filed under: Change Management

What is life coaching?

“Life coaching is a form of counselling…to help people solve their problems and achieve ambitions.”

It helps people to meet their personal and business goals by guiding them in the right direction. It is much like a sports coach who helps the sportsperson to achieve the goal by directing him/her in the right direction. Life coaches use different method to coach people but one thing that remains the same is their guidance towards achieving life’s goals in an appropriate manner.

People might shy away to go to life coaches but if we think about it, we’ll realise that people often turn up to their friends and family for life advice and guidance, life coaching is a professional side of the help. Through life coaching, people get direction and they can solve their problems in order to achieve goal. Through life coaching, a different perspective is provided which help people to understand the situation in a better way which ultimately help them to overcome the roadblocks of their lives. It’s a way to gain confidence and to move forward.

Life coaching is a form of counselling which uses a series of individual sessions. It can be done over telephone, mails, face-to-face sessions, etc. These sessions help people to solve their problems and achieve goals or ambitions. Life coaching has been drawn from a number of disciplines like sociology, psychology, management, and various forms of counselling.

Life coaching helps people break their negative belief patterns, acts in a more decisive manner and set clear goals and develop action plan to achieve them. Most of the life coaches are trained in the areas like stress, personal growth, business, careers, family, motivation, etc.

Does life coaching work?

The number of people turning to life coaches is increasing which is a sign that it is serving a purpose. A coach helps the person to organize priorities and decide what direction they have to move forward. Moreover the coachee can agree to the strategies that coach present to solve the problems and implement them. Life coach can effectively act as a sounding for ideas-rather like a brainstorming partner.

According to an article published in Public Management Journal, when training is combined with life coaching the productivity of the employee increases by 88%.

Any person who wants a coach should be willing to open oneself and accept the new ideas provided by the life coach. And life coaching is not a solution to the deep-rooted problems such as depression. Anyone can get a benefit from working with a coach. People who are stuck can get new perspective and can solve the problem.

Things we can work on with a life coach.

  1. Create a balance between personal and professional life.
  2. Create strategies which help in making key decisions for success in professional and personal life.
  3. Adapt to new situations and break the glass ceiling.
  4. Communicate in an effective and powerful manner.
  5. Organise and live a satisfactory life.
  6. Design a more organised life.
Filed under: Coaching