Gill often finds that consultancy assignments include elements of coaching and mentoring. She enjoys focusing on sensible business outcomes as well as on the personal development of the individual concerned.
She has had a wide range of clients including; senior corporate managers, a Metropolitan police officer, third sector leaders, social entrepreneurs and Prince's Trust start-ups including an ex-offender.
* As company adviser and member of the senior team at a new entrant water company she coached the MD. He found questions and input from an external source extremely helpful in developing tactics and strategies to deal with a complex and difficult environment. Gill probed and encouraged his thinking in ways that his employees and colleagues could not.
* Gill jointly led a teambuilding event for the senior management team of a specialist Housing Association. She enabled the team to identify and articulate the issues that were blocking effective working. This facilitated a breakthrough in communications and the development of a jointly agreed and tightly timetabled, remedial action plan.
* Gill was brought in to help a sales team assess and focus on a particular market. As well as helping the team prioritise targets and develop attractive propositions she acted as executive coach to the Sales Manager. As a result he re-structured and re-organised the team, and sales performance improved by 50%.
* Gill was asked to mentor the extremely busy Deputy Director of a regional branch of a national charity. After twelve months the individual had successfully completed an M.Phil, achieved promotion to Director and decided not to pursue a subsidiary consultancy career. A hectic year but some great outcomes.
*Gill has mentored third sector clients working as part of various government initiatives for social change. Her latest role is as mentor to two very different clients offering parenting classes and participating in the quality marked CANparent programme.
*Gill has worked as a business mentor to Prince's Trust start-ups since 2000 and latterly also as a Next Steps mentor to the enterprise programme.
To help explain the difference between coaching and mentoring - although they can overlap - here goes...
In broad terms mentoring is often used within organisations when someone is appointed to help another with the achievement of their long term goals and career, rather than with immediate business performance issues. In practice, mentoring although demanding the same listening and questioning skills as coaching, is often more directive and advisory.
Coaching is very much more of a process through which the individual is encouraged to discover for themselves both the right questions to ask and how to develop practical solutions. The coach is there to facilitate, provide structure and to help formulate specific action plans and timetables - not to provide answers.
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