Mentoring And Coaching: Developing Future Leaders

An essential part of leadership is training up the next generation of leaders. If you’ve been a part of an organization where a leader left and there was a lack of potential leaders in the organization, you found out how badly the organization suffered. You probably even saw a mass exodus of employees from the organization.

This is a great reason to begin training up future leaders. These are the leaders who will be there when the current generation of leaders are gone. They’ll also be the leaders who head out to other organizations to lead them well.

Mentoring And Coaching: Developing Future Leaders

But what does it take to mentor and coach upcoming leaders? That’s a good question. Another good question is whether mentoring and coaching are the same. Let’s look at that question first.

Are Coaching And Mentoring The Same Thing?

This is a question that gets brought up a lot. Mentoring and coaching can sound like the same thing. However, there’s a difference between mentoring and coaching.

I have discovered that we can’t confuse the two. Coaching and mentoring are different. What are the differences between coaching and mentoring?

  • Coaching tends to be short-term; mentoring is a long-term relationship
  • Mentoring is more directive; coaching is non-directive
  • Coaching is performance drive; mentoring is development driven
  • Mentoring meetings tend to be more informal; coaching sessions are structured
  • Coaching sessions are typically structured by the coach; mentoring sessions are structured by the mentee
  • Mentor sessions see more questions come from the mentee; coaching sessions will see the coach ask more questions

We need to be able to coach and mentor future leaders. You may not be the one to do both but each of these is critical to the development of future leaders.

How To Develop Leadership Qualities In Team Members

Now you know the difference between mentoring and coaching. You can see they’re similar but different in the ways that actions are carried out. The great thing is that both coaching and mentoring can help develop leadership qualities in team members. 

How do you do this? What does it take to develop the qualities of a leader in someone? Good questions…

Help your future leader set and achieve clear goals:

Setting and achieving goals is a lot of fun. It’s also encouraging to the future leader to see the progress they’re making.

Use either a coaching or mentoring model to help your future leader set and achieve their goals. You might ask questions to pull out what leadership areas they want to develop, or you might listen as they ask questions about your experience. You can then help them set up goals that are actionable and clear.

Create networking opportunities:

As the experienced person in the relationship, you have an opportunity to connect your coaching client or mentee to others that could assist them. Once again, listen to them. Find out what their goals are.

Then begin connecting them with others who can help them achieve their goals. 

You might even connect them with local non-profits or agencies where their skills fit. You can plug them in with your connections to help them grow and develop their skills.

Promote skill development:

You can also help promote their skill development at your organization. Discover what their skills are by asking mentoring questions. Use their answers to discover what they’re good at or desire to do.

Then, give them opportunities within your organization to develop those skills. Work with others in your organizations to provide them with tasks that pull, strain, and grow them.

Give encouragement and support:

Both mentors and coaches do more than offer information. They offer support and encouragement. 

Those you mentor and coach will need these two things from you.

They may walk away from a task feeling discouraged. You can pick them up by sharing a story about your failure and how that helped you develop a leadership skill or quality you didn’t know you had.

Be A Mentor And A Coach

Building up future leaders will require a mixture of mentoring and coaching. You will need to work both into your leadership trainings.

Don’t be afraid to try one approach and then switch it up to the next. You’ll discover that some people are more receptive to mentoring than coaching and vice versa. 

Be a mentor and a coach to the future leaders in your organization.

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