The Insights Series from The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants identified coaching and mentoring as one of the most effective development methods.
So what is it about coaching and mentoring that makes it such a powerful development method?
Here are my 5 top reasons.
Many traditional approaches to development are one chance events. If you prosper fantastic if not your opportunity is gone.
While this type of development activity is excellent for acquiring skills, for example learning to present or knowledge such as technical updates in your profession, it can be less effective when it comes to working on personal attributes or softer skills.
Many development activities aim to cover a number of areas in a short time frame.
While this is excellent for getting breadth, it can mean that only a small proportion of the time is spent on the areas that matter to you.
When working with a coach or mentor you focus on the specific areas that will give you greatest leverage or benefit from your development time. You get to develop your own personalised programme.
Often by focusing on a specific area within a topic you get exponential improvement.
Coaching and mentoring is highly targeted and because it is ongoing you move forward quicker because it is focused.
You don’t waste time and effort on areas that you don’t need to or on areas where you already have a high level of skill or a lot of experience.
People who take on the role of coach or mentor are highly supportive.
They can be counted on to be behind you encouraging and supporting you as you take action.
Knowing that you have the support of someone who believes 100% in you is an amazingly powerful motivator.
I know first hand from my early years in the accounting profession just how valuable this can be.
Study after study highlights that having accountability is one of the most important ingredients in achieving results.
One study suggested that you have a 95% chance of achieving an objective when you have accountability in place.
When you have to self account for what you have or have not achieved, you do more than you would have done otherwise.
Your coach or mentor holds you to account for those actions that you have committed to taking in order to get results and move forward.
Clearly all development activity has benefits. Working with a coach or mentor is a powerful tool in your personal development toolkit that you may not be fully utilising. How might you benefit if you did?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.