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The history of coaching
The origin of coaching dates back to the dawn of the development of human society. To put it more precisely, the emergence of coaching is inseparable from the history of the human society (Terpstra & Rozell, 1993). What is meant here is the fact that coaching has existed since the time of the appearance of the human society because it was a natural, integral part of the human society. At this point, many specialists (Welbourne & Andrews, 1996) argue that the development of the human society would be impossible if there were no coaching. In this respect, it is important to understand the fact that the development of coaching implies that individuals comprising a social group need some train. To put it more precisely, they need to share their knowledge, skills and experience. New members of the society need the training to learn the social experience accumulated by previous generations. In such a context, coaches became key figures in the development of the human society, who taught other society members and trained them to use the full benefits of the knowledge and advancements of the society. Moreover, in such a way, coaches created conditions for the accumulation of new knowledge and for the development of new technologies because trained people could use their knowledge and skills for creative work.
In the course of time, coaching evolved. Specialists (Dean & Bowen, 1994) point out that the more complicated the human civilization became the more significant the role of coaches grew. They argue that today the role of coaches is particularly significant because of the development of new technologies and the rhythm of the contemporary life, which is consistently faster than it used to be in the past (Snell & Dean, 1992). In this regard, coaching evolved from a natural element of the life of the human society into a sort of science. At any rate, coaching is an important discipline which has to be taught and which can help modern organizations to improve the individual performance of their employees (Welbourne & Andrews, 1996). In such a way, in the course of time, coaching grows more and more complicated but its role has never changed and it is still of the utmost importance for organizations as well as for the society at large.
2.2 The difference between mentoring and coaching
Coaching, being an important part of the organizational performance, needs to be distinguished from mentoring because they perform different functions and focus on different goals (See App. Table 1). In actuality, the difference between goals and functions of mentoring and coaching may be not striking but still it reveals the fact that coaching may be more important for modern organizations than mentoring. In this respect, the focus of mentoring and coaching is crucial because mentoring focuses on an individual, whereas coaching focuses on the performance. This difference is very substantial taking into consideration the fact that organization need the improvement of the performance and individuals are important for organizations but only as long as they can contribute to the positive organizational performance. As soon as an individual becomes ineffective for the organization or as soon as an individual deteriorates or undermines the organizational performance, this individual is not needed for the organization anymore.
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Hence, coaching of such an individual becomes pointless, whereas mentoring carries on because it focuses on the individual, who is the primary concern of the mentor, whereas the performance of the individual is of low, if any, significance for the mentor (Hawkins & Smith, 2006). In stark contrast, the performance of an individual is crucial for coaching. As the matter of fact, the performance is the primary concern of coaching. Coaches view individuals as subjects to the improvement of their performance (Lado & Wilson, 1994). The main goal of a mentor is to teach and train an individual to make him or her better, whereas the main goal of a coach is to teach and train an individual to improve his or her performance.
However, it does not necessarily mean that an individual is of no importance for coaching. In stark contrast, coaching pays a lot of attention to an individual because often through the personal improvement of an individual he or she can improve his or her performance (Reger, et al., 1994). At this point, it is possible to speak about the existence of certain relationship between mentoring and coaching.
Another important difference between coaching and mentoring is the role of a mentor and coach (See App. Table 1). A mentor performs a role of facilitator with no specific agenda, whereas a coach has specific agenda. This means that a coach has to meet specific goals and he or she works within the framework defined by the organization and its current needs. Normally, coaches work on the improvement of the individual performance of employees. They have specific agenda which includes what they have to achieve, how and what for using their coaching models (Hawkins & Smith, 2006). Instead, a mentor just trains and teaches an individual without any specific agenda.
Furthermore, mentors are self selecting, whereas coaches come with the job. This means that coaches are just doing their job. They may be appointed and an individual does not have an option to choose a coach. In contrast, a mentor does not impose his or her teaching and training on an individual (Gomez-Mejia & Balkin, 1992). The individual has the option to choose his or her mentor. In such a way, a mentor is not an appointed figure.
In addition, a coach has influence on an individual due to his position. A coach has certain authority and employees have to obey to the coach and follow his or her lead due to his or her position within the organization. As for the mentor, he or she does not have the formal authority. Instead, an individual values the mentor due to his or her moral authority, experience, knowledge and other factors but not due to his or her position (Reeves & Bednar, 1994).
At the same time, coaching focuses on the performance and teamwork, whereas mentoring focuses on affirmation and learning. In fact, this means that coaches help individuals to learn how to work together and cooperate effectively with each other within the organization to reach positive outcomes and to improve their performance. In contrast, mentors are concerned with the learning and personal as well as professional development of individuals. Mentors do not perceive performance improvement as the ultimate goal of their work, whereas coaches view it as the core goal of their work.
Finally, specialists (Reeves & Bednar, 1994) point out that coaches’ work is task related, whereas the work of mentors relates to the life of individuals. What is meant here is the fact that coaches work with individuals and train them to reach certain goals set by the organization, where they work at. In contrast, mentors work with individuals to teach them, to help them to develop their personality, basic skills and abilities, to acquire new knowledge and experience.
In such a way, in spite of obvious similarities in the work of mentors and coaches, it is very important to distinguish them from each other because the ultimate goal of the work of coaches is quite different from that of mentors. The aforementioned differences are very important in regard to the definition of basic roles of coaches and factors that determine the success of their work.
2.3 Coaching models
In actuality, specialists (Hawkins & Smith, 2006) distinguish numerous coaching models which are applied in different organizations. At the same time, it is worth mentioning the fact that the effectiveness of coaching models can vary consistently because the organizational structure and organizational culture as well as goals of coaching and specific tasks coaching has to meet can influence the effectiveness of the coaching model used. To put it in simple words, the effectiveness of coaching models depends on the organization and goals of coaching.
Specialists distinguish several types of coaching models (See App. Table 2). In this respect, it is possible to lay emphasis on the fact that, in the contemporary business environment, the GROW model is one of the most widely-spread coaching models. The GROW model includes four stages which aim at the accomplishment of the fundamental goals of coaching, which normally are the improvement of the individual performance and through the improvement of the individual performance it is possible to reach the improvement of the organizational performance. Specialists (Welbourne & Andrews, 1996) point out that it is important to pass through all the stages of the GROW model steadily, one by one.
The first stage is goals. At this stage, a coach sets goals coaching is supposed to achieve. Specialists (Reger, et al., 1994) argue that coaches should not limit goals to the short-run perspective but they should set goals which individuals can reach in a long-run perspective. What is meant here is the fact that coaching goals should not be limited to the coaching session solely. Instead, coaches should set goals, which individuals can achieve and work on after the accomplishment of the coaching session in the course of their professional development. In such a way, individuals can reach positive outcomes of the coaching and they can keep improving their individual performance even when the coaching session is complete. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that through setting goals coaches can stimulate and motivate employees to work hard on the improvement of their performance to meet the goals.
The next stage of this coaching model is reality. At this stage, a coach and an individual should define the essence of the problem, the core issue they have to deal with in the course of the coach session. In fact, this is the stage of the problem identification, which is very important because through the solution of the problem it is possible to improve the individual performance of an employee. At the same time, a coach should define the problem clearly and help an individual to confront and tackle the problem.
Furthermore, on accomplishing the reality stage, a coach moves toward the option stage. At this stage, the coach should look for options available to help an individual to tackle the problem he or she has that prevents him or her from the improvement of his or her performance. In such a way, through the selection of the proper option, the coach can help the individual to find the solution to the problem (Neal & Tromley, 1995). This stage is crucial for it opens the way to the improvement of the individual performance after the elimination of the identified problem through the solution found at this stage.
Finally, the last stage is Wrap up or Will. This stage is the stage when the action starts because a coach starts undertaking steps to reach the goal of coaching, whereas the individual responds to coaching. In such a way, through the mutual work of the coach and the individual the goals of the coaching session can be achieved and the individual can improve his or her individual performance.
However, the GROW model is not the only model of coaching that can bring a considerable success to the organization using this model. In fact, specialists (Miller, 1998) point out that the GROW model is extremely popular and widely-spread because this model is flexible and allows organizations and coaches to maximize the effectiveness of coaching. What is the most important about the GROW model is its flexibility and applicability in different environment. Therefore, this model can be used in different organization, in different cultural environment and in different situations.
As for other models, it is worth mentioning classic models, including six levels of coaching (See App. Table 2). Basically, this model passes through six stages in the course of which a coach helps individuals to identify their problem, to grow aware of the negative impact of the problem on their performance and to find a plausible solution to the problem. In fact, the diverse coaching models are based on this principle of the mutual work of a coach and individuals to reach positive outcomes of coaching and to improve the individual performance of employees.