By Arbresh Useini, 5. November 2018
The role of the responsive leader is based on the need for soft skills, business drive, a holistic understanding of the dynamics within the organization, and nurturing social capital. This requires that the responsive leader is both a coach and a mentor. When talking about coaching, mentoring, and teaching there is a layer of delegation involved. How much do you delegate in which role?
You must master both coaching and mentoring, and apply it with situational leadership both towards the individual employees and towards the team as an entity.
– Erik Korsvik Østergaard, The Responsive Leader
Whether you are a coach or a mentor depends on the situation you are in – and it also depends on the employee or team. Sometimes there is even a need for a teacher, but nevertheless you must know the role that is required of you in a particular situation – also known as situational leadership.
Situational leadership and the swift between roles
As a coach, you’re a facilitator for driving different ideas, understandings, and reflections. A coach asks questions and guides the employee to seek answers themselves. The timeframe is short, and has an outcome set by both the coach and the coachee. Focus and agenda are often performance driven, and the outcome should be specific and measurable with signs of improvement. Through questions, the coach can provoke the coachee to make positive movements, that will result in recognizing their own behavior and make better decisions to accomplish their desired goal.
As a mentor, you’re can have attitude, opinions, multiple views, and experience – and a role that can voice them. A mentor comes with specific suggestions to the challenges the mentee is experiencing. The timeframe is long – for some it can be a whole career life-timeframe. Here, the outcome is set by the mentee. Focus and agenda are development driven, and the outcome can change and has a more holistic approach. Whereas in the coaching role, the coach asks all the questions, in mentoring the mentee typically asks the questions. A mentor does not need to have a certain expertise but should give THEIR experiences to the mentee.
As a teacher, you teach one skill or concept and should be determent to increase a capability. In short, the method is more direct than the two others.