What is coaching?
Coaching allows the busy executive a breathing space, where he or she can openly explore their thought patterns, look afresh at their own behaviours, at any perceived barriers, and consider how they might be limiting themselves or unwittingly hindering their own progress. A coach facilitates this by creating a safe, secure environment and a productive partnership, enabling the client to focus and gain insight into what is holding them back, and explore ways to break down barriers, set goals and achieve them. The coach, by appropriately challenging and holding the client to account, can bring about significant and lasting change in a relatively short time. Coaching is all about moving forward and when done well, is extremely powerful.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is where a person more experienced and skilled in the particular arena (i.e. is or has been a practitioner) proactively guides an employee in work-related issues in order to help them develop that knowledge and ability. It uses much of the same skills as coaching, however, in coaching the emphasis is on the client working out their own answers, with the coach as a catalyst: in mentoring, there is more direction and sharing of knowledge and experience.
What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality is at the heart of the coach-client relationship. Unless the client is completely assured that any thoughts or views or beliefs divulged will be kept confidential, they will not reveal their true thoughts or feelings, and therefore no real insights will be revealed. Without an honest and open discussion, no real progress can be made. Therefore coaching sessions are kept confidential, but there are ways of reviewing and measuring progress with the line manager/sponsor. I am bound by the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC) Global Code of Ethics which can be read here.