Podcast: Coaching vs mentoring

This podcast explores two common but often misunderstood tools – the role of a coach and that of a mentor. Karen McMillan, Director for Pure Capability, and David Alexander, Former Head of Internal Audit now of Dart Consulting, share their insights on the of the benefits of both roles.

McMillan explains that “as a coach your job is to facilitate thinking in the other person, rather than offer your point of view,”. She adds that a mentor, however, “is much more of an advisor, providing guidance and feedback, sharing expertise and acting as a sounding board.”

Tips for audit leaders coaching others include:

  • Being authentically curious
  • Being respectful
  • Having the patience to listen

Coaching can be beneficial at all stages in an auditor’s career, particularly as Alexander points out when “entering new territory” as a Chief Audit Executive or navigating a challenging relationship.

Our interviewees featured in the podcast share their insights on the benefits of coaching, highlight success stories and discuss tips for choosing a coach.

With extensive experience, McMillian also shares some observations on how men and women approach coaching in a different way.

Tips for being coached include:

  • Talk about what matters most to you
  • Listen openly
  • Show some humility and be honest
  • Question if you have the time and space to take action
  • Be prepared to change and operate outside your comfort zone
  • Never leave a session without a commitment to yourself