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Coaching and Mentoring
How to Train Without Training Courses
Maybe you can't get away with no training, but you can maximise the training you do buy with good use of Coaching and Mentoring.
Historically, businesses have often relied on classroom based training classes to train their staff.
As effective as classes are, there are a number of alternative training interventions' which are available to the training practitioner.
So what is a training intervention?
A training intervention is understood to be any activity which aids learning and development and as such includes training classes.
This article will go on to describe other forms of training interventions available to the training practitioner.
A phrase increasingly heard, mentoring is simply guidance and advice provided from one experienced staff member to a less experienced colleague.
Fundamentally, the individual providing the mentoring support should be independent of any formal or informal lines of authority that could limit the effectiveness of the program.
By providing a level of trust and confidentiality, the mentee is encouraged to discuss and include scenarios, situations and thoughts without fear of restriction or reprisal.
A key factor in the success of any mentor/mentee program will be the relationship that is able to be built between the two individuals.
Consequently, a key task of the training practitioner should be to consider the level of formality that should be agreed by all involved as well as gender and age considerations.
A successful mentor/mentee long-term relationship can work wonders for the development of skills in both the mentor and the mentee.
Whilst an element of coaching may be included within a mentoring program, coaching is usually seen as a solution to a short term skills development requirement rather than a long-term relationship.
Whilst historically used in aiding individuals in life issues, management coaching has become increasingly popular in addressing work issues within the business environment.
The training professional should consider what the purpose of the coaching is. Is it a training intervention geared to the personal development of the individual which improves self-awareness and confidence? Or is the need for developing specific skills and knowledge? The answer should determine your choice of coach only selecting the right individual with demonstrable experience in the area required.
Shadowing can possibly been seen as a type of role reversal for learners as the emphasis is usually on them shadowing' an individual, in particular, to aid their understanding of how others carry out tasks.
Shadowing works well where there is no conflict of interest.
In particular, sales professionals have always embraced the concept of shadowing when welcoming new members of the team, particularly, from outside the business.
The benefit to the new starter is that he or she can quickly see how the sales process works in practice and get to grips with common objections and concerns held by potential clients.
Experienced colleagues who are shadowed' often report that they benefit from working with a fresh pair of eyes' as well as the motivational benefits that come from the additional responsibility.
Coaching, mentoring and shadowing are all effective training interventions. The skill of the training practitioner is in selecting the appropriate solution for the individual.
Additionally, it should be stressed that such forms of training interventions do not have to be seen as addressing a particular problem. Indeed, all forms of coaching, mentoring and shadowing can be seen as positive activities that benefit even the strongest individuals to become even stronger.
This article was contributed by Carl Duncker
Carl Duncker is a management training consultant specialising in the delivery of efficient and effective training solutions to the private and public sector.
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