Tag Archives: alternatives

  • -
weighing alternatives

Weighing Alternatives is a Matter of Principle

Tags : 

Big decisions or little decisions, short-term or long-term, what helps you decide? Weighing alternatives typically boils down to principles.

Some would suggest it is ethics or integrity. Others may decide the decision was based on outside forces or pressure.

Most of our choices are connected to principles. Your morals, a guideline, or your values and beliefs help shape the principles you will adhere to.

Recent high school graduates often base more advanced education choices on principles. In the short-term the opportunity cost is more. In the long-term, across many years, the theory is that it pays off.

Parents are influencers, so are other family members, friends, and the admissions staff.

This may be true about the car or home you’ll buy. It may be true about what you’ll eat for dinner. Pros and cons, short-term and long-term outcomes, or the consequences of action versus inaction.

Weighing Alternatives

When there are more alternatives you need to rely on your principles less. You can make a choice and the consequences of undesirable outcomes feel less risky. There is always another choice, at a later time, or on another day.

Often there are group dynamics connected to how you’ll weigh the options. Some of that is connected to your principles and some of it is connected to the social discourse you’ll choose to follow.

Your principles will guide you.

If your choices are only about the right now. Your principles probably lack the integrity or ethics you’ll need for the long-haul.

In a family of four, someone eating the whole bag of potato chips while no one else is watching seems like a reasonable choice. At least at the moment, in the right now.

The alternative requires discipline, caring, and compassion. It doesn’t satisfy the right now.

It’s about the principle.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

  • -
mentor and coach

The Difference Between Mentor and Coach

Tags : 

In a recent article I wrote about how to find the right mentor. It sparked some additional questions. One important question might be what are the differences between mentor and coach?

When you are considering the idea of having a good mentor or coach in the workplace it is important to think about the end result. What are you really trying to achieve?

Outcomes and Experiences

You might want to use a mentor when you are trying to create any of the following:

  • Job shadowing
  • Developing specific skills
  • Learning the ropes
  • Following in the footsteps
  • Replicating

A coach on the other hand would be somewhat different. Consider a coach to help create the following:

  • Breaking new ground
  • Discovering alternatives
  • Exploring choices or direction
  • Replacing old habits with new
  • Connecting with purpose

Mentor and Coach

Mentoring might assume that the mentee is ready, willing, and able to take on a new job role. It would be used when you are trying to transfer the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the mentor to the mentee. In some ways you might also connect these same concepts with an internship or apprentice.

Coaching is different but it also assumes that the person is ready and willing to be coached. In some cases it might be viewed as an opportunity to get on the right track. In other cases it is to inspire growth. Coaching typically is not show and tell. It is more about discovery and direction.

Skill Sets

A mentor needs to know and understand the job requirements. They need experience in that role, or to be a good professional role model. A mentor would likely use examples of actions and behaviors that lead to job success. I sometimes suggest that it is an advanced form of job shadowing.

A coach may or may not have specific experience in the job. The coach often needs to be able to help the coached person discover alternatives, different paths, or new directions. Show and tell is less important. The ability to illustrate and ask without being seen as condescending holds more value.

Do some mentors use coaching techniques? Do some coaches have the ability to mentor? The answer to both is yes.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more