Recently, I posted on twitter a representation of how I see the differences between coaching, mentoring and training. The lens I chose to look through was that of direction. How much the person coaching, is actively providing guidance.
I got some great feedback and input from a lot of people. And, I found this really encouraging, because that means at least the model is semi understandable. In particular, Lena Wiberg(who even helped me by redrawing my model, see below), Maaret Pyhäjärvi, Janet Gregory, Patrick Prill, João Proença and Vernon Richards all who gave me direct input. I also got some other cool ideas from Maria Kedemo, James Thomas and Augusto Evangelisti Thank you all.
I put all the feedback into a mindmap so I wouldn’t lose the ideas presented to me. What fascinated me was that they were all good and reasonable points from people I knew well and respected. But also, there were differences in opinion as to what mattered. (In particular about the nature of mentoring versus coaching). My brain went into to overdrive, trying to absorb and reconcile this new information into my existing model. Until bingo! I realised what was wrong about the whole picture.
It wasn’t that the model was right or wrong. It wasn’t that the feedback was incorrect. The flaw was in my assumption that only one model could exist. This was crazy thinking! I wasn’t building a test case where the assert was a binary pass/fail. This was way more nuanced. Of course, many perspectives could and can exist, and consequently many models can exist.
It re-inforces to me the value in collaboration and getting feedback. Being open to new ideas and perspectives. Even if on first look, these ideas may seem the opposite and the anthesis of what you think. But don’t be afraid, instead pull them apart gently and kindly and you will discover similarities between approaches, models even schools of thought. It’s from these similarities that you can begin to build a new and create a better version.
That’s not to say identifying differences is bad. Focusing on what differentiates has value of course. But my experience is, focusing on what unites is way more powerful because it allows us to work through those differences.
I’ll continue on working on this model. I think more work can be done to make it better. Next week Vernon Richards and I are having a 9 minute racket on the topic.
Cheers and happy learning!
P.S I just added this new comments plugin. I’d love to hear what you think. Give us a rating or add your thoughts to the conversation! 😍