Providing people with guidance on the proper path through life can be a difficult process for anyone who is tasked with this responsibility. A person who is responsible for guiding others must maintain a number of delicate balances: on the one hand, he or she must be strong enough to reprimand a follower who is not being obedient or who is straying from the right path; on the other hand, he or she must occasionally allow the follower the opportunity to stray in order for the follower to gain experience and thus become much wiser. There are a variety of things that a person must do in order to guide his or her follower or followers, and these concepts of guidance are covered in greater depth under the headings of coaching and mentoring respectively.
The process of mentoring entails the development of a relationship and bond between the mentor and the pupil, resulting in a sense of togetherness that is more commonly referred to as mentor and protégé. A mentor is someone who, while he or she may be older than the protégé, is unquestionably more knowledgeable, wiser, and perhaps even more serene and settled than the protégé, who is more likely to be less knowledgeable, less wise, and more flighty than the mentor. When a protégé is inexperienced, the mentor’s job is to act as a guide for him or her; as the protégé learns more and more from the mentor, the protégé is propelled even further into greatness.
The mentor-protégé relationship has existed for a long time in history and has been lauded by the popular media. In addition, there are numerous different types of mentor-protégé relationships in the modern world. To give an example, when a new employee begins working for a company or business, he or she is adopted by someone who has been with the company or business for a long period of time. For new employees who are experiencing culture shock or who are unprepared for the rigours of the current workplace, mentors act as an intermediary and guide through the processes of the company or business, easing their adjustment.
In keeping with workplace relationships, an existing employee may demonstrate potential as someone who could one day take on a leadership role, or who could move on and be outstanding somewhere else. In this situation, a company veteran who is familiar with the employee’s situation could informally take on the employee as a mentor. As part of the mentoring relationship, the mentor will impart to the protégé the knowledge and skills necessary to advance in the workplace. Eventually, the protégé may take the mentor’s place, advance elsewhere in the hierarchy, or move on to another company and perform even better than the mentor.
Coaches, on the other hand, are not the same as mentors in that they do not provide advice or guidance. An approach used in coaching is one in which an individual or a group of individuals is directed by a leader or overseer in their movements. Coaching is a process in which instruction and training are provided with an end goal in mind. Giving motivational speeches can be one of the methods of directing people’s movements and thought processes. Additionally, there are methods of training people in order to improve their performance, such as through seminars and workshops, or through practise, such as that which is done by sports groups.
The goal of mentoring is to teach the protégé how to live better or how to function more effectively in their current situation. The coach guides his or her team in order for them to achieve a specific end goal, which is perhaps better understood as a more specific method of mentoring than other forms of mentoring. This will result in a victory in a sporting event for the coach. This will result in a stronger marriage bond, according to marriage counsellors. In the case of family coaches, this will imply a stronger familial bond, both between the parents and their children as well as between the children themselves.
There are many different types of mentoring and coaching, as well as many different techniques that can be used with each type of mentoring and coaching. More information can be obtained by speaking with professional mentors and coaches or by conducting additional research online.