How do I know if I need a coach, mentor or a manager?

When do you need help?

Businesses want employees to learn their jobs quickly and to gain the skills and capabilities necessary to do their job.

Achieving these training and development goals typically involves managing, coaching, and mentoring, but those terms are often misunderstood or used interchangeably.

Understanding the differences among them is critical to success.  However, staff need managing and the manager (you) help them achieve, learn and develop.  But, who is helping you?

Let’s have a look at different ways to manage, coach and mentor and see differences between them.

Ok so what is the difference between a coach, mentor and manager?

There are differences between coaching, mentoring and managing and they are based on the relationship between the individuals involved and what outcome they are looking for.

What do I mean?  Well…

Coaching is a more personal, generally short-term relationship that is fostered to achieve personal or professional development.

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship with the purpose of developing a specific skill rather than achieving a task.  Generally this can last a year or longer.

Managing is a professional relationship used to achieve operational results.  The type of leadership relationship you have with someone should be based on the outcome you are looking to achieve.

What is coaching?

Coaching involves partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.

Coaches offer proven concepts and strategies; they challenge blind spots and foster new perspectives, but they do not prescribe actions or outcomes.

The coach holds the client accountable for goals and outcomes the client commits to during the coaching process.

Companies/businesses often hire outside coaches or establish internal coaching programs.  Have you ever worked somewhere that have brought someone in to motivate or teach the team?

Coaching provides measurable benefits for talent development and moving from good to great. This is not just for staff, it could be for YOU too.  However, personally, I feel coaching can be a little too dictatorship for my liking.  I would rather help and guide than tell.

There are various coaching styles

Depending on what your client’s needs are, will depend which coaching style is adopted.

Considerate: Uses low assertiveness and high expressiveness.

Direct: Uses high assertiveness and low expressiveness.

Spirited: Uses high assertiveness and high expressiveness.

Systematic: Uses low assertiveness and low expressiveness. 

What is mentoring?

A mentor’s role is to impart knowledge, expertise and wisdom from their own experience.

These qualities generally accrue over time, so mentors are usually older than mentees, or they have ‘been there, done that’.

A mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial.  Each party gains insights from the sharing process.

Unlike a manager, who hires and has power over subordinates, mentors and mentees choose each other.  A mentor’s authority derives from the mentee’s esteem.  Such relationships often form friends and confidantes relationship.

I believe mentoring is a great thing for business owners and this is something that I offer, as I would rather work with my mentees and help, rather than dictate.

Types of mentoring styles

The mentoring process you use depends on the needs and learning styles of the individual you are mentoring.

Challenger: This type of mentorship is supportive but firm. The mentor pushes the mentee to focus on a specific goal.

Cheerleader: This type of mentorship is optimistic, supportive and encouraging. The mentor pushes the mentee to stay positive and focus on growing new skills.

Connector: This type of mentor is well connected and helps with networking. The mentor uses their social skills and connections to teach the mentee how to network and create valuable connections.

Educator: This type of mentorship is educational in nature. The mentor is often a teacher or has a background in training or education, and they push the mentee to learn and develop their deficiencies.

Ideas: This type of mentor uses creativity to spark brainstorming and planning.  The mentor pushes the mentee to get creative and value their abilities.

What is managing?

A manager’s priority is achieving operational goals set by the business.  So don’t forget if you are managing a salon, or your own salon, you would be wanting to make sure you team achieve the goals you set and desire.

Goals may include a unit of production or an amount of sales, or both.  Managing workers in the course of meeting objectives is just one of a manager’s many responsibilities.

Managers must devote attention to market conditions, financial resources, schedules, regulations, organisational structure, work environments, efficiency, productivity and more.

It is not surprising that as a businesses grow in size and complexity, managers extra help to support them. Sometimes, this is where a manager can often utilise a mentor.  A mentor can help managers create ideas and achieve their goals.

Types of management styles

There are different engagement styles.  Let’s have a look at a few and see if you can relate to any.

Authoritative: Leaders use clearly defined expectations and disciplinary actions to get staff/their team to do what they want.  This style is best used in times of crisis.

Coaching: Leaders focus on long-term employee development and growth.  This style is best used in businesses that want to promote from within.

Collaborative: Leaders use open discussion and communication to have all managers and staff come to a decision based on majority rule. This style is best for driving innovation or increasing employee engagement.

Delegative: Leaders assign tasks and empower employees to work as they see fit.  This style is best for highly skilled teams.

Participative: Leader use staff participation to create solutions before management finalises a decision.  This style is best for making business changes or driving innovation.

Persuasive: Leaders make decisions, but then convince staff/team members that they are involved in making key decisions.  This style is best used when the manager has significantly more experience in the matter.

Transformational: Leaders use motivation and encouragement to push their team to achieve more.  This style is best to increase innovation, flexibility and growth.

Visionary: Managers use alignment to share their goals with the team and then motivate their employees to work toward those goals.  This style is best used in disruptive businesses that want to drive innovation and change. 

I own my salon, can I just be all 3?

Given the different goals, methods, and relationship dynamics of managing, coaching, and mentoring, can one individual play all three roles with an employee?  No, I would say.  Or not properly, anyway.

You can be all 3 to staff and establish which method works best for you and your team and different staff members.  Many of your staff will have different learning styles.

However, what about you?  You need help too.  Running a business is hard and some times we cannot think straight.  Sometimes we need help to create new ideas and generate motivation for our team.

This is where you may benefit as well.  Do not forget about your self.  There are many options available to you.

  • Online
  • Group coaching/mentoring
  • 1 to 1 mentoring
  • Accountability programs

I hope this makes you think about You, as well as your staff.   You are the visionary for you business and sometimes we can get bogged down with the day to day running of the business and staff management.

Lots of love

This is all said with love, I know many people have different opinions and that is absolutely fine.

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Any questions, just ask… Why not arrange a fact finding call and see if we can generate some ideas of how to move your business forward.

Much love.

Louisa Ashforth Signature