Mentoring Vs Coaching Options Conversations in the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales

On the 2nd March, 2021, the Teachers’ Guild of NSW was pleased to invite Denise Archie HFTGN, founder and joint owner and CEO of both Coaching College and the Australasian Centre for Work Education (RTO #40857), to join us for an evening of professional discussion and goalsetting as we considered the difference between and the inclusion of mentoring and coaching in the education sector. The evening began at 6pm with light refreshments, held at the Concord Golf Club. TEACHERS’ GUILD OF NEW SOUTH WALES Presented Mentoring Vs Coaching Options Conversations in the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Denise, who herself is a passionate educator from the classroom to the boardroom, used the OPTIONS™ model to show just how easy it can be to establish a mentoring program grounded in evidence-based Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Her approach to mentoring and coaching aims to see the value in, and build rapport between, mentors and mentorees in order to achieve personal outcomes and professional growth.

There are many definitions of ‘Mentors’. One of the briefest is found in Webster’s Universal Dictionary, which defines a Mentor as a ‘Counsellor, wise and prudent adviser’. The protective aspect of the role of Mentoring has given rise to the use of the word ‘protégé’ from the French verb, protégé, to protect, for the one who receives Mentoring support. However, many modern organisations prefer to use terms such as ‘Mentee’ or ‘Mentoree’. Coaching involves holding the space for ‘possibility thinking’ for their clients and inspiring, influencing and inviting them to step into the actions to turn their ‘thinking’ into reality, Denise Archie – Coaching College

In the booklet handed out on the evening, Denise shared a continuum which highlights the links between mentoring and coaching. It places counselling down the left end, moving to coaching in the middle, through to mentoring on the right. Counselling is applicable to personal problemsolving, with coaching focussing on personal competencies and skills, moving to mentoring with its focus on knowledge and career experience being shared.

Denise’s passion and enigmatic presentation style made for a thought-provoking and entertaining evening as the Guild’s members and guests utilised markers, butcher’s paper and textas to show their opinions and understanding of the topic. Participants then paired-up to practise OPTIONS™ conversations, which allowed them to experience first-hand the benefits of being involved in a mentoring relationship. Denise’s Coaching College picture cards were very handy in getting participants to articulate their goals for a mentoring relationship.

Of particular note was Denise’s explanation of the way people view and use time. Those who are ‘through-time’ are committed to being on-time and maintain a strict structure to their days, whereas ‘in-time’ people see a meeting time as an approximation and are likely to use the phrase ‘see you at about 7:00’. While this was amusing to contemplate, Denise urged participants to consider others and their view of time when establishing a mentoring relationship.

Much of Denise’s mentoring beliefs and style can also be applied directly to a classroom environment. Building empathy and providing students with a structured way to share their thoughts in a safe environment is crucial to maintaining a level of trust that is required for deeper, goals-focussed conversations. Using ‘I’ messages (I think, I feel…) keeps conversations nonconfrontational and takes the focus off defensive ‘you’ messages (e.g. you should do this). Simple, practical and highly effective advice like this was well-received by all participants, with very positive feedback being provided at the end of the evening.

Denise has encouraged all members and guests who joined her at the event to keep in contact with her at and share with her what strategies they have implemented as a result of her presentation. The Teachers’ Guild of NSW would like to thank Denise for sharing her passion, knowledge and enthusiasm with all who attended.



The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales

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