My first interaction with coaching, mentoring and other aspects of performance management happened when I got my first promotion. It was then that I first got an opportunity to lead a team. I realized that leading people was one of the most difficult things one could ever do. Human behavior is quite complex and even with years and years of research we are still trying to get a way around it!
Initially I was quite confident. I knew of the various ways to motivate teams and individuals so that they achieve the organizational goals. However, it was not long before that I realised that actually doing it was another story all together.
My initial way was a tell mode and a one way download about what was expected and how it was to be done. However over a period of time I realized that that didn’t quite work. The motivation and performance of the team just kept going down. I was not a very aggressive manager and hence they all still respected me. However, I was not really a very sought after manager!
It kept me always wondering what methodology would work. What would keep the team on a high in terms of performance and attitude?
Over a period of time I realised my folly. Experience and reading many books made me realise where I was faultering. It was when I came to know the difference between various terms like performance management, performance appraisal, talent management, feedback, coaching, mentoring, training etc. that I understood where I needed to make a change.
However, it was during one of our coaching and delegation sessions that I clearly understood the difference between these terms. Mr. Navin Khubchandani, a facilitator and coach with us since some time now, helped me get a good understanding of the same. He has good experience of leading teams for around 25 years with large organizations and hence was proficient in his understanding.
Am penning down the basic difference between some these terms so that you can benefit from the same:
In every job or as a matter of fact, in every relation, people have expectations from each other. They are formal (task based) expectations or informal (relationship based).
We all know why discussing expectations is important and what the consequences can be if not done. It leads to conflict and the possibility of not achieving the desired outcome. After all, you can’t achieve something that you don’t know is to be achieved!
Usually expectation mapping and setting is done at the start of the year while setting targets, goals, deliverables and KPI’s.
Usually given at the time of observed behavior or action. Feedback is usually positive, constructive or developmental. It helps in course correction as well as in motivating the individual. Feedback given late, i.e. post the event or observation looses its impact.
Gaps identified during mid term reviews and feedback sessions can be due to knowledge, skills or attitude deficiencies. Knowledge and skill gaps can be easily bridged through training. Areas of subject matter expertise, technical know how, behavioral skills, operating and process skills can be bridged in a training program.
When a Subject Matter expert or someone who is more experienced guides someone who is less experienced, it’s called Mentoring. Usually organizations have mentoring programs where the top leadership plays the role of mentors to the juniors. Once the individual goes through a training, he is put through a mentoring program for practicing the newly learned skills in the work place. He receives guidance and advise by the identified mentor about his progress. This helps him in enhancing the knowledge, skills and capability of the Mentee. Mentoring is also used in organizations to create a succession pipeline for the High Potentials. It is usually a long term intervention and typically runs to about a year.
When an attitude needs to be worked upon, Coaching can do wonders. It runs for shorter durations then mentoring, but may also be an on going process in the best form. The Coach need not be a subject matter expert.
Here, the coachee basically has the knowledge and the skills required to complete the task. He however lacks the attitude.
Coaching is a process of self discovery and showing the person the mirror so that he can utilize his own resources to reach his goal or objective. It is a mutual process and requires a lot of acceptance and trust between the coach and coachee.
A performance review is conducted at regular intervals or at the end of a term. Its objective is to measure performance post having conducted all or some of the above exercises. It measures the performance of an individual vis a vis the targets or goals given to him. It could also be how well an individual has been able to enhance his capability (knowledge, skills or attitude).
To learn more about Coaching, Mentoring and other Performance Management techniques; you can get in touch with us. We can come down and show you what you need to increase the capability and motivation levels of your teams.