What can a good boss do? “Sing in a rock and roll band” (frei nach “Street Fighting Man” von den Rolling Stones) oder Coach, Mentor, Mentee oder Sponsor sein.
There are many possibilities for developing the personal strengths of individuals.
If you want to make a direct and personal contribution as a manager, coaching and mentoring are very suitable and have a proven track record in many organizations and situations.
When can you act as a coach?
As a coach, you ask many questions and widen perspectives. The coachee (or client) is therefore the person who is enabled by the coaching process to develop their own solutions to their own questions.
To be a coach, you should have a coaching education. There are many different training programs available. Usually the training takes several months. Ideally, you are not the manager of the coachee. The danger as a direct leader is that you act out of your own interests or are not impartial. This strains the relationship and endangers trust instead of enabling development. In most cases, therefore, external coaches are a better idea.
Can you be a mentor?
This also requires knowledge of the mentoring process and the right attitude. The prerequisite for a successful mentor or a successful mentoring program is the implementation of a concept with coordinated roles, responsibilities and principles. In contrast to coaching, the main focus here is on passing on non-formalized knowledge and experience that the mentor has acquired during the years of working for the company. This wealth of knowledge is very valuable for the individuals involved and for the company.
Reverse mentoring and sponsoring are additions to the standard repertoire.
In reverse mentoring, you as an experienced manager take on the role of the mentee. The younger person takes on the role of the mentor. The concept is similar to mentoring, but the roles are reversed. You learn from the younger person. In the process, the younger person gains experience in dealing with a leader. So in reverse mentoring, both sides win.
Sponsoring is about strengthening the acceptance and reputation of the person being supported in the company through you as a manager, making their potential known and thus opening up new opportunities for them. As a sponsor, you offer the opportunity to use your name recognition, your status, your influence and your access to important networks. You activate potential for the company.
These are just a few of the opportunities for transformative people development which you as a leader can do personally to advance your company and ensure a sustainable future.