Some years ago a fellow coach and mentor shared a piece of very simple wisdom that has stuck with me ever since.
Very simply they offered the nuance between standing for coaching and mentoring as opposed to standing for coaches and mentors.
It’s a very subtle and simple difference at first sight. One supports a very wide system (i.e. humanity) and the other a niche group of practitioners working in that system. However, choosing either as a guiding principle has far reaching consequences in what you create and how you try to create it.
It’s worth taking a moment to think of other practices where you can draw a similar contrast. It might transform your view.
I stand for coaching and mentoring.
- I believe it is of more value to create direct benefit for the many rather than focus on the professional practice of the relative few.
- I believe it is of more value to seek ways to remove financial barriers for the many rather than focus on the financial well-being of the relative few.
- I believe it is of more value to promote the essence and practices of coaching and mentoring across societies than to promote the practices of self labelled coaches and mentors.
Please don’t think I am against coaches and mentors. I’m not. However, I am passionate about the useful advocacy of coaching and mentoring, not just coaches and mentors. I know many others feel the same way.
I also know many others act the opposite way. I see this as being to the detriment of coaching and mentoring. In fact, I’d say the advocacy of coaches rather than coaching has had a massive impact on both coaching and mentoring.
I hope to see this change. For coaching and mentoring.