Category: Coaching

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.

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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

What is Behavioral Coaching?

Behavior is the action, response, and reaction of an individual towards any stimulus. Behavioral coaching is the way to facilitate learning, performance, and development of an employee or the team which ultimately leads to the growth of the organization.

It is a third wave psychological approach, which means it focuses on looking forward rather than backward to achieve sustainable behavioral change in a relatively shorter frame of time.

Behavioral coaching is an integration of various disciplines of psychology like clinical, developmental, social, and industrial-organizational psychology. Apart from psychology discipline, behavioral coaching also integrates management and philosophy.

Main aim here is to increase the effectiveness and happiness of employees in the workplace so that they can work better. It includes helping employees on a varied range of levels like social, intellectual, motivational, emotional, etc.

Main Objectives of Behavioral Coaching

Behavioral Coaching looks to improve action and behaviors to achieve the desired goals. It generally involves empathy path, leadership path, and helping change path. All these pathways help to change one’s and other’s behavior for the better.

Levels in Behavioral Coaching

  • Level 1: Behavioral performance/outcome – To identify ‘what’ should be done to achieve the desired outcome or behavioral change.
  • Level 2: Environmental Factors – To identify ‘where’ and ‘when’ behavioral techniques should be taught. It is determined by the organizational culture.
  • Level 3: Capabilities – To identify the ‘how’ the actions or behaviors are selected, monitored, and analyzed for behavioral coaching.

Why Behavioral Coaching is Important

Behavioral techniques allow gathering data from specific and targeted behaviors which are related to the professional skills of an employee. Changes in the targeted behavior can be easily measured and evaluated through behavioral change instruments.

Through behavioral coaching, employees can improve the behavior which helps in developing professional skill and this lasts for a longer time. Employees are trained to be more comfortable and alert and take control of the unforeseen circumstances. This helps employees to manage themselves in every organizational situation and improve their confidence level.

What does Behavioral Coaching Incorporate?

  • Defining behavior and emphasizing the positive or negative consequences of each behavior
  • It defines the employee’s current status in terms of behavior and not in terms of personality styles
  • Selecting a target behavior that needs to be changed in order to improve professional skill. Targeted behavior should be associated with professional skill
  • Understanding the targeted behavior and providing techniques to change it
  • Exploring the changes that have occurred after implementing the provided behavioral techniques
  • Changes can be seen in motivation, beliefs, and emotions which can result in improving the behavior of the employee
  • Assessing the environmental events which can create an impact on behavior of the employee
  • Providing techniques which can improve the interaction between environmental events and behavior, in order to improve the behavior
  • Conclude it by sufficient follow-ups through a coachee self-coaching strategies and monitoring from coaching’s side

Arenas for Behavior-based Coaching

Behavior-based coaching can be applied to executive coaching, leadership coaching, business development coaching, career coaching etc.

Behavioral coaching is the need of the hour because it helps to understand our behavior and how can we change it for better.

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What is Stress Coaching?

Being stressed is something that we experience in our day to day life. For some it’s a recurring problem and can affect their health and well-being. Stress can affect people in different ways and the cause of stress can widely vary. Change in job, going to a new place, arguments with friends and families, etc can cause stress. A circumstance can be stressful for one but not for others. It all depends on the individual and his/her coping mechanism.

Symptoms of stress

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling anxious
  • Sense of overwhelm
  • Shallow breathing
  • Snapping at people
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Muscle tension
  • Headache

There are a lot of ways to deal with stress. It can include changing lifestyle, using self-help techniques, seeking help from mental health professional, life coaching etc.

How can coaching help with stress?

The aim of the coach is to offer clarity about the circumstance in order to help the individual to understand it properly. This helps the individual to understand the root cause of the situation. Coach engages the individual in a series of conversation to make him/her understand the situation properly. Coach helps in gaining insights or reflection that the individual might not have considered earlier.

Stress coaching helps the individual to come up with strategies and techniques to reduce the stress and to cope in an effective manner whenever any stressful situation arises. There are a lot of stress relaxation techniques, journaling techniques, meditation, etc which help the individual during stressful conditions.

Understanding the root cause may lead to a change in habits of the individual which ultimately help in dealing with stress in an effective manner. Coach will help the individual to adopt the new habits in an effective manner. For example, setting some boundaries, saying “no” to some things, etc will help the individual to cope better.

During coaching, individual can set goals for himself/herself and can decide on the areas to focus upon during each session. Each session will help in uncovering the root cause of the situation and help the individual to feel better and manage it in an effective manner.

After all the sessions are done, individual should create an action plan for oneself regarding the way he/she will move forward and deal in a stressful condition.

Some self-help tips to deal with stress

  1. Ask for help whenever required, delegate the tasks. This will help in lifting off the pressure. It can be done at work or in personal life.
  2. Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, etc.
  3. Avoid too much caffeine or sugar as this lead to physical symptoms which are similar to anxiety-like feeling dizzy, heart palpitations and may lead to stress.
  4. Be active as physical activity helps to reduce stress and improve the overall well-being of the individual.
  5. Build a support network and turn up to them when you need them. Talking to other people helps in relieving stress and help to cope better.

Stress coaching and self-help techniques help the individual to understand the situation better and come up with strategies to cope in an effective manner.

Filed under: Coaching

What does team coaching mean?

What does a team mean?

According to Katzenbach and Smith (1999), Team is ‘a small number of people with complementary skills, who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach, for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.’

What does team coaching mean?

According to David Clutterbuck (2009), team coaching means, ‘Helping the team improve performance and the processes by which performance is achieved, through reflection and dialogue.’

Team coaching generally helps the teams to reach their goals, while creating a sustainable environment which leads to long-term excellence and success. It is done by aligning the team to a common purpose, share the vision, define clear roles, make powerful choices and take strong action.

Organizations which are new to team coaching may view it same as team building but there is a difference between the two. According to Schein (1999), team building works on the interpersonal relationship and helps the team members to strengthen collaboration to increase the performance and productivity of team. Whereas, team coaching focuses on skills and processes which are underlying like how the team communicate internally and externally, how they relate to tasks, etc. This usually takes much longer but has a lasting effect on the productivity of the team.

Team coaching helps to create a supportive and safe environment where people can express their ideas openly and expect them to flourish and take shape. When people feel safe, better and constructive decisions are made. Team coaching also helps in making people collectively aware i.e. team members develop the skill to deal with the already existing issues and also to deal with the new issues which will inevitably pop up in the future. Team coaching also enables team members to understand and appreciate each other’s unique strengths. This leads to synergistic results as well as a shared drive to succeed.

Who can benefit from team coaching?

Senior and mid-level management teams, cross-cultural teams, board of directors, human resource teams, educational teams, virtual teams, etc.

How can team coaching benefit the team?

Team coaching helps the team in the following manner:

When there is a cultural and communication gap, team coaching can help in understanding the root cause and help in finding the best solution.

  • To develop new strategies when team is facing burnout and distress.
  • To re-stabilize the teams during the time of organizational change, growth, merger, downsizing, etc.
  • To empower the decision making of the team.
  • To make diversity as a powerful tool which will help the team to move forward.
  • To solve the perpetual team conflicts.
  • To enable the team to reach its performance goals and deadlines.
  • To help a successful team to seek its next level growth.

These are some of the areas where team coaching can help to get the team better. Team coaching doesn’t always have immediate results because there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to team dynamics which creates unpredictability. But team coaching does help in creating a long-term view for the team as well as for the organization which ultimately removes the ambiguity and creates a clearer vision for the future of the team.

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Goal Setting Process: Principles and Characteristics

Setting goals, whether short-term or long-term, are ultimate ways to provide focus and direction in our lives. The process of goal setting is not a casual effort but a purposeful, explicit process that guides transformation. Along with providing direction, goals also help us to measure if we are succeeding and whether any course corrections need to be made along the way.

Since goal setting process is a conscious effort, one needs to ensure that the goals have all the characteristics needed.

The Top Five Characteristics are Abbreviated as SMART

    1. Begin with writing specific goals as they help to provide precision to the process. Be as specific with facts and data as you can. For instance, instead of writing “achieve business target by end of this quarter”, set goal as “achieve business target of 25 lacs by March 31st “
    2. Second, ensure that your goals are measurable. As mentioned earlier, goals help us to monitor how much have we succeeded. If goals cannot be measured, it will be difficult to assess how well are we doing in achieving it. A goal of “achieve business target of 25 lacs by March 31st “can be easily measured by matching the on-actual numbers with the projections. In case the goal is more subjective, say “Think more positively by the end of June 2020”, then assign a measurable unit to that. How would you measure if you have started thinking more positively? Maybe, get feedback from others or have positive outcomes to situations. So, adding the outcome of the situation or the number of positive feedbacks received can be a measurable approach to a goal.
    3. Third, apart from being specific and measurable, goals should be attainable. it’s good to be ambitious but goals that are not realistic and only ambitious can be demotivating. Such goals, no matter how hard you try, will be difficult to achieve. Check for resources and capability to attain the goal before writing it down. If the adequate resources are not available, then specific and measurable goals may not be achieved.
    4. Fourth step in the goal setting process is to ensure that the goals are relevant and must be aligned to our ambitions and plans for self. When goals are not relevant, we are not motivated enough to achieve it and the focus from it is lost along the way.
    5. Lastly, goals should be time-bound. Giving a deadline increases the sense of urgency to achieve the goal and makes planning effective. When setting deadlines, one must ensure that it is realistic. It should not be too rigid and stringent, and neither should it be too lenient and flexible. Assess the adequate time necessary for achieving the goal and then set the deadline.

Apart from these 5 characteristics, the following principles must be considered:

  • Goals should be of moderate difficulty level. Goals that are either too easy or too difficult do not motivate us.
  • We must write our goals. Just keeping it in our head will make us forget and lose focus from the goals.
  • Although goals are set with its characteristic of being attainable, one shouldn’t be hesitant to ask for help if there is any obstacle in reaching the goals. Therefore, having a plan B and listing back up resources to attain the goal is a good practice
  • Make it a habit to keep checking your progress on the goal and make course corrections whenever necessary. Schedule these review session and make modifications early in the process rather than later (closer to the deadline).

Following these simple principles and characteristics in the goal setting process can help us to be more focused, provide us a direction and transform our lives.

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What does developmental coaching involve?

Developmental Coaching

Developmental coaching is built on the framework which first aims to understand the ‘what’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of the individual before starting the process of coaching. Most of the coaching processes don’t look at the root cause of the problems that the individual is facing. But on the other hand, developmental coaching looks at the problem holistically and this aspect creates the difference.

What does developmental coaching involve?

Developmental coaching, unlike traditional coaching, uses 360-degree feedback, standardised assessments, and past experiences to understand the stage of development that the individual is currently in. A developmental coach should focus on the characteristics exhibited by the individual because they reflect his/her developmental stage. No two individual of different age should be coached in the same manner.

Developmental coaching also focuses on the ‘mental age’ of the individual. Focusing on mental age is different from focusing on past experiences. Past experience will help in revealing the thought patterns that have existed in the past and mental age will help in determining how the individual has evolved into his/her current state of mind.

Developmental coaching pays attention to the experiences that have determined the person we have eventually become. Different degree of meaning that the individual attaches to a particular experience will dictate the action of the individual in future.

The process of developmental coaching

Developmental coaching doesn’t focus on the process of conditioning because true development comes when individual finds meaning itself rather than attaching it something and then change the behaviour. The motive of developmental coaching is not to bring changes in behaviour but to bring a change in the mindset which ultimately affect the behaviour and lead to desired results.

Developmental coaching is concerned with revealing the root of the mindset problem or insecurity and helping people with equipping themselves with the mindset to tackle the problems on their own. This type of coaching helps the individual to place himself/herself on a constant framework of development rather than focusing on a particular target.

Some of the techniques of developmental coaching are:

Integrated mental training is a process in which developmental coach influence individual’s emotional and cognitive states and helps in developing new perspectives and attitudes to cope with the problem. This technique pays a lot of emphases on unlocking alternative state of consciousness through images or visual stimuli. It also helps in improving the relationship between mind and body.

Coaching for prevention encourages constructive pattern of thoughts which helps the individual to think for the future rather than ignoring it. This technique ultimately attempt to solidify one’s goals for the future rather than focusing on the problem. If an individual is able to visualise a path for a particular goal, this is more constructive than making oneself equipped to deal with unforeseeable problem of the future.

These are the two techniques which are used in developmental coaching and helps in making it more effective. Developmental coaching is relatively longer in its process but definitely has a lasting effect on the individual and helps in making him/her equipped for the future.

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The Value of an Organization’s Purpose

The famous organizational consultant and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, has brought to the attention of the world, the power of ‘why’. He stated that every successful organization and action is born out of this power of ‘why’. He has used the example of the high sales of Apple’s iPod to demonstrate that the power of why connects with the consumers and they associate themselves with the organization.

The ‘why’ here is the purpose and the mission of the organization. An organizational mission is a purpose statement and a rough plan inclusive of the organization’s values, strategies, and objectives. Every organization has a mission whether it is formally written or not.

An organizational mission is a guide for the major decisions taken within the organization as the mission includes the goal that the organization aims to achieve. Generally, the mission of the organization is one which was brewed from the mind of the founders of that organization. The mission is, therefore, a mirror image of the mission and the purpose of the founder; but this can evolve over time as the organization takes its own identity.

Shapes the culture of an organization and provides a basis for bonding and a better understanding of the organization. The newly added human capital to an organization can be easily trained by keeping the ‘why’ of the organization in mind. The employees also direct their behavior on their own as they continue to understand the organizational purpose and connect it with their individual purpose.

It is rather beneficial for every organization to formulate an organizational mission. There are many advantages to adding a formal mission in the organizational culture. As the purpose of an organization is imbibed within the employees, they are more likely to work happily and efficiently towards the same.

The mission statements also work as a guide and help leaders and managers to take actions accordingly. If all the employees are aware of the objectives of an organization and the ethical fulfillment of those objectives, then the organization has a higher probability of reaching its goals in a rather shorter time period. The mission and the goals stated in the mission are vital to boost positive behavior and reinforcement of goal-oriented behavior.

The mission statement of the organization should be concise, realistic and impactful. It is critical to formulate an accurate and clear statement; an ambiguous mission statement can lead to diversions from the goal of the organization. An ideal statement is known to include three major components – the target audience, the product/ service provided by the organization and the USP of the organization. It is important that a statement is objective and is not over the clouds, filled with fancy and unnecessary words. An unrealistic mission statement can lead to a wasteful utilization of the resources of an organization.

The business magnate Richard Branson has also stressed the value of an organizational mission towards directing the organization and pushing it towards the realms of success and progress. Hence, it is advisable for organizations to identify their mission and work towards formulating an encouraging and guiding mission statement.

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Finesse Performance Coaching

Finesse coaching is a collaborative relationship between an individual and the coach that empowers the individual to strengthen their aura. This benefits the individual in both their professional and personal lives and is especially pertinent to senior members of organizations, leaders and independent professionals. Finesse coaching involves focusing on all aspects that can help grow the self-esteem, confidence, behavior and personality of the individual in the positive direction.  It includes a wide array of topics from etiquette, grooming, personality development to everyday behavior. It ensures that the person’s aura is felt in the way they look, talk, act and walk.

In a more organizational context, finesse coaching can fine-tune the way we engage in specific activities. It can help individuals learn how to gracefully enter and exit a conversation, diffuse negativity, solve conflicts peacefully and with subtlety, read others’ intentions, find common ground in a group of diverse people, and enlist the support of other in any matter with rationale. It helps people build quality relationships that are mutually beneficial

Making improvements in these areas helps the individual navigate social relationships with ease, an aspect of life that most people struggle with for decades. Social relationships are of prime importance to leaders and high-level professional since they are complex, delicate and influence the stakes of the success of businesses.

Finesse coaching reiterates the importance of networking and networking without immediate motives, to schedule and spend time with people from diverse backgrounds and exchange information while engaging in activities. Engaging in activities together builds relationships faster and builds a memory of positive experience.

The coaching process allows an individual to engage in activities to test out the skills they want to build. Finesse coaching allows a person to expand their social horizons by empowering them to notice and test people’s intentions, remember their preferences and even take note of the ties they may want to be left to themselves.

To be able to read the context and align with the behavior of others seamlessly while also engaging in the conversation by adding powerful and valued points, is an ability that is highly sought after. Keeping emotions in check and negativity at bay can help an individual utilize their time for productive activities rather than the automatic coping mechanisms that we tend to exhibit if the negative emotions are not addressed.

The coping mechanisms may be in the form of frustration, anger or even avoidance which lead to the reduction in the capacity for information intake. Finesse coaching also teaches individuals how to deal with social failure. Sometimes in social situations rejections are inevitable and what is most important is how the rejection is handled. A quick recovery and a graceful response will always build social reputation and relationships.

Finesse coaching is relevant to most people as face value is of prime importance in today’s business world. It is more important to those who need to strike others as important, confident and a leader. Investing in finesse coaching improves the quality of impact and the footprint that a person leaves wherever they go.

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All about Performance Coaching

Performance coaching is a collaborative relationship between the coach and the individual that facilitates the development and the action planning of the individual that is a part of an organization. It does not involve the coach sharing their experiences or even sharing advice. It is a process that involves discussion and decisions on the focus of the coaching relationship and provides a supportive but challenging environment that empowers the individual’s growth that ultimately contributes to the growth of the organization.

Performance coaching requires the coach themselves to follow a few guidelines to ensure the success of the process and maximize the employee’s potential. While they follow ethical standards, they must also be honest in their feedback and communicate constructive criticism instead of pandering to high level officials in the organization. Most people that engage in this process need a push to work on their self-esteem and make the best use of their knowledge and potential. A performance coach must recognize this need and ensure that they incorporate self-esteem as one of the goals in the coaching process.

Organizations tend to assume that training and development is sufficient for talent development. This approach mainly covers technical competencies and expected behaviours. Including Performance coaching would enable the employee to develop personalized plans with the coach, eliminate redundant activities and focus on their strengths, weakness and work on how best to use or change them to benefit business goals.

This process innately includes weaving together the organizational goals and the team goals with the individual’s goals. Performance coaching involves the coach assessing the individual, setting realistic and mutually agreed-upon goals, providing continuous feedback and reinforcing positive behaviours. Hiring managers who are certified in performance coaching or even investing in getting managers certified in performance coaching would be highly beneficial to organizations. They have the ability to tell, discipline and direct when required but also to ask, discuss, empower and develop when they see potential.

Performance coaching is proven to bring out potential in all levels of employees in an organization and, understanding how emotions and relationships affect thought and behaviour at the workplace is an effective way of enhancing performance, but it is not solely about improving performance. Performance coaching gives the employees a say in the approach to tasks they engage in hence are more inclined to take ownership of tasks and feel more committed to the organization.

This shift has a significant impact on employee-level roadblocks like stress, burnout and absenteeism that organizations face constantly in today’s fast paced business world. Performance coaching is especially beneficial during large shifts at the organizational level like mergers and acquisitions. These processes re-establish strategies and working methods and are aimed at growth. Performance coaching would be a pertinent addition to the change management strategy that ensures the rise in the quality of performance in the organization.

In conclusion, performance coaching addresses the gap that organizations neglect while raising performance standards and projecting increased profits and growth. It enables employees and managers and gives them a strong strategy to follow. This ultimately aids the organization in consistent growth and progress.

Filed under: Coaching