Management and leadership skills

Stop the 'cosy conversations' and get results!

QA expert spills the beans on how coach-mentoring can help issues such as low staff engagement or career development and get results.

Nova Ferguson | 18 October 2016

‘That’s all very well. But I need my staff to get results! They can’t sit around contemplating their navels. I pay them to do some real work.’ These are familiar comments from leaders and managers when Coaching and Mentoring or Coach-Mentoring is discussed.

And here’s another one - ‘Why are many of my younger team members (Generation Y and Millenials) trickier to lead and manage? We can’t work them out.’ Equally, ‘Some of my more experienced staff know their stuff. They’ve got a lot to offer, I can’t help feeling they’re doing the bare minimum to get by, waiting for retirement and (if they’re lucky) a pension package. It’s not entirely their fault. There just isn’t anywhere else for them to go in their career in our organisation’.

The statistics driving these conversations are familiar to many organisations:

25% of the population right now, are so-called Millenials. They are savvy about their rights and technology; are highly career and socially conscious and will leave if they don’t get what they want. Managers and Leaders need to learn how to develop them. A recent article indicates that companies need to focus on regular training and development to retain Millenials, otherwise they will quite happily leave and join another company that gives them what they want.

On the flip side, 31% of the experienced workforce is due to retire in the next ten years. We need to keep them engaged and harvest that experience and knowledge, and develop them.

Fortunately, when used properly by trained staff, Coach-Mentoring can help solve these, and indeed hundreds of other workplace issues – and get results. – without the ‘navel gazing’ sometimes associated with the discipline.

How does Coach-Mentoring work?

Coach-Mentoring covers the spectrum of different approaches from non-directive to more directive styles, dependent upon the Coachee or Supervisee’s* needs. A typical sequence would follow these steps:

  1. Start with establishing the outcomes with the coachee/supervisee/sponsor/line manager (whichever combination works for the individual and the business)
  2. Agree on outcomes and link to departmental/organisational strategy when possible and appropriate
  3. Talk about how the individual and the organisation want to measure success
  4. Contract with the parties concerned on confidentiality, frequency, duration and so on
  5. Help the individual adjust their goals and measures as things become clearer for them during the coaching or supervision relationship
  6. Check against the measures set in place
  7. Encourage actions, and their implementation
  8. Listen objectively, Reflect back what we hear, Support, Synthesise and Challenge

Look at these examples from QA’s coaching and coaching supervision* practices and coaching training:

  • Coachee shortlisted for IT Manager of the Year Award 2016 with coaching support on coaching their team members and developing their career development plan
  • Supervisee applied for a director’s post in the NHS and got it – having been coached and supervised on how to do well in assessment centres and how to coach team members to deal with change
  • Middle and Senior Manager coachees reporting a cultural shift and improvement within their workplace
  • Departments in conflict reporting an improvement in relationships and, subsequently, problem solving
  • And there are so many more benefits to be gained.Coach mentoring results can be quite significant. You can achieve great results with a little time, focus and guidance.

    Want to know more? Watch this video:

    If you are looking to update your leadership skills, QA offer a wide range of Leadership and Development training courses to help you develop professionally. Our new Leadership Academy offers an intensive learning experience at a high-quality residential venue, allowing you to fully immerse yourself and take full advantage of the learning experience.

    Related blogs

    Nine conversations of leadership

    Leadership academy explained

    *Coaching Supervision – offers support to coaches (supervisees). Coaches need to have their own sounding boards to reflect on their coaching practice, stay in line with a coaching code of ethics and continuously hone and develop their skills.


    Nova Ferguson

    Head of Coaching Faculty

    As Head of QA’s Coaching Faculty, Nova Ferguson provides leadership and strategic direction for QA’s Coaching and Mentoring proposition. She also has a coaching practice providing coaching and coaching supervision for a range of QA clients. In addition she authored QA’s ILM Level 5 in Coaching and Mentoring programme which she delivers, as well as delivering the ILM Level 3 Award in Coaching. Part of Nova’s role is to innovate and create coach mentoring interfaces and new products to bring them into the heart of leadership, management, project management and staff and business development. This maximises ROI for customers and development for individuals. Nova is currently working across a range of other business units within QA Learning, working with our experts in Agile, Project Management and ITIL to create cutting edge programmes combining technical and coach mentoring expertise. The QA Coaching Faculty also partners with other providers of coaching and mentoring. Nova holds a B Ed, CIPD Intermediate Certificate in Organisational Coaching and Mentoring, an OCM Certificate in Organisational Coach Mentoring Supervision and has more than 30 years’ experience of management, consultancy, coaching, and training in the UK and Scandinavia. In addition, she holds a Kirkpatrick Bronze award, is a qualified PRISM facilitator, and conducts coaching de-briefings on this neuroscience based assessment tool. She is also an NLP Master Practitioner and holds an NLP Business Practitioner Certificate and Licence. In addition Nova has managed training businesses and teams, provided coaching and training, and designed and run facilitated events and focus groups for a wide range of organisations and industries, as well as implementing change programmes within her own organisation. Nova works with a broad range of clients, providing executive coaching and extensive coach mentoring training programmes for the public and private sectors. Her approach to everything she does is highly interactive and collaborative, and she shares tools for achieving positive influence with learners and customers alike.
    Talk to our learning experts

    Talk to our team of learning experts

    Every business has different learning needs. QA has over 30 years of experience in combining the highest quality training with the most comprehensive range of learning services, ensuring the very best fit for your organisation.

    Get in touch with our learning experts to talk about how we can help.