Pillars of the Industry - Lester Desmond discusses Coaching versus Mentoring.
Royal Dutch Shell plc has had formal mentoring systems in place for many years. Mentoring is available to staff throughout the company; however, the focus is on new joiners to Shell and in particular new graduate professionals, who are offered access to a mentor, as well as a coach, as part of their initial Develop program on joining the company. Typing the search word “mentoring” in the link http://www. shell.com/careers will give further information about Develop. Shell makes a distinction between mentoring and coaching, which may be different from other companies. Mentoring is a medium- to long-term relationship in which someone can learn from the experience of a successful professional in the field. It is aimed at helping people develop themselves. Traditionally, the primary focus is long-term career development, gaining knowledge and understanding of the wider system in Shell and learning how to navigate the organizational system and expand networks of influence. Coaching is a shortterm, task-focused relationship, helping people to become more effective in their work by equipping them with the tools, knowledge, practices, and opportunities they need to discover solutions for themselves. It also ensures alignment between individual actions and business goals.