By Prof. David Clutterbuck
The word assignment carries with it an assumption of finality — when the final session is completed, the coaching is done.
When we talk about mentoring, we describe it as a relationship. Coaching still requires a relationship (though often perhaps less intimate and of shorter duration), but we tend to talk about it as an assignment.
This difference in language or metaphor can affect subtly the way we think and behave. The word assignment carries with it an assumption of finality — when the final session is completed, the coaching is done.
We know from research carried out by David Megginson and me more than a decade ago that coaching and mentoring relationships are subsequently perceived much more positively by both participants, when they have a clear formal ending.
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