Elearning! September

2014

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Elearning! September / October 2014 49 talent becomes very weak, and the emphasis shifs to the need to develop mid-management. Q: Mentor vs. champion vs. coach: What's the dif- ference, and what role do they play? Dr. Combs: One of the best ways to understand the difer- ence is to compare the general role of each and apply them to the organizational need. Te chart above illustrates how I break each approach down. Ultimately, I believe that the natural progression is for mentoring or coaching to oc- cur frst and then championing aferward, since championing is ongoing and it involves infuenc- ing the career growth of an indi- vidual over a span of many years. Q: How do non-technical skillsets such as emotion- al intelligence contribute to individual and organi- zational development and success? Dr. Combs: Self-awareness isn't necessary for everyone when starting out; however, a desire for self-awareness is. We ofen hear that self-awareness and refec- tion are imperative to leadership. I would argue that it starts with the front line. Understanding our strengths and limitations comes with our maturation, level of confdence and experience. Frontline managers ofen are hired and promoted from within because of their technical exper- tise — even though they may not have much self-awareness. But as long as there is some under- standing of their own need for growth, development and will- ingness, there is great potential. Self-awareness is ofen the frst tool that can help you decipher if others are seeing something in you that maybe you didn't perceive. From the moment people recognize that they have strengths and faws — that is the moment when they acquire some humility and, hopefully, the desire for lifelong learn- ing. Emotional intelligence, relationship building and lead- ership style all require honest self-awareness. Well-intended feedback from others helps to kick-start the refection pro- cess. Building a safe environ- ment with confdentiality and positivity helps set the stage for self-awareness, learning, increased confdence and prac- tice of new skills. Q: Are there any unique challenges within health care, for which you'd like to highlight possible solu- tions? Dr. Combs: Yes, I think the focus on people skills is more prominent in the health- care industry. Surprisingly, employees primarily receive medical training in preparing to enter the field with mini- mal focus on management or leadership. Herein lies the challenge for development at all levels. We can address these by developing leader- ship teams and executives, be- cause if they're not on a path of serving as role models, then everyone in the organi- zation will fail to live up to their potential. I'm a believer of multiple-strategy interven- tions that must be integrated into a culture of leadership cascading from the top so the senior leaders have to experi- ence it first. It's more effec- tive and sustaining getting people to suspend personal judgments and experience the content — that's when they'll discover their "a-ha" moment and become the biggest sup- porters. —Te author, Michelle L. Mal- donado, is a former corporate attorney with more than 17 years of leadership experience in strategic planning, operations and partnership development across the e-learning, technology and online media industries. She serves as associate vice president of corporate strategic relationships for American Pub- lic University System and is the founder of its Inspire Leadership Series. To read the full article or to subscribe to American Public University's Inspire Leadership Series: www.GreatLeadersIn- spire.com Ment oring C oaching Champion Task or relationship f ocus R elationship focused Task focused Career focused Length of time of e xperience L onger term Short term, set duration L onger term Focus of dev elopment Broad development Specifc developmental area Specifc opportunities Focus of content discus sed Individual gr o wth J ob focused, performance orient ed Career gr o wth Experience and expertise Experienced mentor Coach possesses specifc expertise Seasoned leader with signifcant infuence Experience benefts who ? Both mentor and mentee beneft Coach benefts Manager and organization benefts When is the experience helpful in the ment ee ' s career? Mentee is in the beginning or middle of career Occurs at any time Occurs at any time Frontline managers ofen are hired and promoted from within because of their technical expertise — even though they may not have much self-awareness.

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