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Improve Performance, Provoke Thought, Think Critically.

You are constantly striving to improve.  You are looking for practical tips you can apply to your daily work that will impact your performance.  You are looking for advice from professionals who do the work. You want to engage with professionals who have been in your shoes.

Be the Founder that can clearly articulate the problem your company solves.

Be the Sales Professional that your customers want to work with.

Be the Learning Professional who can deliver your solution in the context of the business.

The Catalyst Sale Podcast is published weekly.  We take listener questions at @catalystsale on twitter or hello@catalystsale.com via email.

Topics discussed - B2B Sales, Sales Training, Product Market Fit, Growth, Hiring, Recruitment, Sales Process, Business Acumen, Startups, Leadership.

May 8, 2018

Coaching, Mentoring or Training - What's the Difference?

On previous episodes we have discussed Mentoring in Sales (42), we have also discussed Coaching vs Training (79).  This week we discuss all three approaches in the context of personal development and improving capabilities.

We share our thoughts on the differences between Coaching, Mentoring, and Training, why one approach may be better than another, and when it might make sense to combine methods.

Questions Addressed

  • What's the difference between Coaching & Mentoring?
  • How do you know if you need a coach or a mentor?
  • How important is it to be coachable?
  • How do I know if I should work with a coach?
  • How can we connect with Catalyst Sale to discuss coaching?
  • How do you know if Training, Coaching, or Mentoring is a better fit?

Key Takeaways

  • Coaching tends to be focused on the current task, or skill.  The coach and the person receiving the coaching, are looking at ways to optimize.
  • Mentoring tends to consider the bigger picture. There may be more ambiguity. It is less about the skill, more about the longer term objective.
  • Good mentors should also be able to coach. Coaches, on the other hand, may not be good mentors.
  • When considering skills improvement, coaching may be a better solution. i.e. cooking.  When working on improving your skills in the kitchen, a coach can help you by being in the kitchen.
  • The coach should be there, with you, and provide coaching in real time.
  • Coaches look for the subtle changes that can make a significant impact - they look for the details.
  • Mentoring is a bit more philosophical.  The relationship between mentee and mentor is critical.
  • Coaching may be a bit more tactical.  The relationship between the coach and the player is not critical.
  • Being coachable is crucial if you want to develop your skills. Ask yourself, if you are not coachable, if you have a big ego, how will you grow?
  • It is important to have an open mind when working with a coach.  You should have a solid understanding of where your deficiencies are.
  • You may need a coach in an area, but you may be blind to it.  This is where a mentor, a manager, a colleague, or others can make a recommendation. One way to overcome your blind spots is to shift your perspective.
  • Fit with a mentor is really important. When it comes to coaching, the fit is not the focus, the results are more important.
  • Skill development should lead to something
  • With a coach, you should see direct skill improvement.
  • With mentoring, am I moving in the right direction?
  • Training tends to be more structured.  Most cases 1:many, however a 1:1 approach may make sense in a training environment.
    • If your objective is to "Learn something new" - Training may be a better solution
  • Coaching tends to be task-based or skill based.  1:1 really works well with coaching.
    • If your objective is to "Improve a specific skill" - Coaching may be the best approach
  • Mentoring tends to be more open, less structured, relationship driven, future-focused, and the relationship will evolve.
    • If your objective is to "Improve being/focus" - Finding and working with a mentor may work best
  • As an example, when thinking about swimming - training works well at first, comfort around the pool, coaching might be specific to hand position in a given stroke, mentoring might be more focused on nutrition, pre-race prep, and mindset.

Call to Action

  • Ask yourself - Am I coachable?  In what scenarios will a coach help me more than a mentor or participating in training?
  • Engage with the community via twitter @catalystsale - how are you applying infinite learning concepts?

Show Links

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Catalyst Sale

In every business, in every opportunity, there is someone who can help you navigate the internal challenges and close the deal.  There is a Catalyst.  We integrate process (Catalyst Sale Process), technology and people, with the purpose of accelerating revenue. Our thoughtful approach minimizes false starts that are common in emerging markets and high-growth environments. We continue to evolve our practice based on customer needs and emerging technology. We care about a thinking process that enables results versus a process that tells people what to do.  

Sales is a Thinking Process.