Every day, professionals in the private security industry take quick and sometimes tough actions to protect and advise their clients. Intelligence analysts produce high profile reports to steer their customers away from trouble and towards opportunities, while security officials put themselves in harm’s way to ensure their clients are protected. Private security employees are not immune from the workplace stressors which plague other industries such as burnout, fatigue, and disengagement, and some also must contend with concerns regarding their own physical safety and security. Worldwide, only 32 percent of employees say they are currently thriving, according to the Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, and 43 percent report high levels of daily stress.
One way to help mitigate workplace stress is to work with a mentor or coach. Both provide immense benefits and are powerful resources to hold you accountable, identify blind spots and development opportunities, and help you reach your goals.
What is Mentoring?
Many of us already have, or remember a great mentor–someone who helped us learn and grow, and utilized their connections to support our own career advancement. Mentoring benefits an organization by improving job retention, employee morale, and aids in the personal and professional development of the mentee. Mentors are also able to grow as leaders by showcasing their expertise, improving their leadership and managerial skills, and promoting their organization’s abilities and offerings. Approximately 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have a structured workplace mentoring program.
Nonetheless, without proactive action, mentoring relationships are unlikely to get off the ground. Although 76 percent of people consider mentors important, only 37 percent actually have one, according to a 2019 Olivet Nazarene University survey of 3,000 people in the United States. The security field offers a unique opportunity for mentorship as many consider the profession more of a calling than a job–many employees are seasoned security professionals who spent time in the federal government, military, and state and local law enforcement, providing a unique opportunity to tap into their vast knowledge, broad experiences, and a variety of skill sets.
While mentoring programs are often designed for newly hired employees, they are beneficial for anyone wishing to take their career to the next level. Everyone can use a little help when it comes to setting career goals, developing effective communication, and bolstering their leadership skills. By pairing employees with mentors you create a safe environment for them to make mistakes, learn, and grow. Mentors are trusted guides whom they can turn to for advice as they share their own experiences, challenges and success stories. Mentors use their own knowledge to help guide their mentees as they develop in their careers.
What is Coaching?
When you think of coaching, you might think of professional athletes. Every top athlete has a coach. Coaches work with these individuals to achieve mental and physical excellence in their sport and reach a competitive edge. Many companies recognize how coaching can help career-minded professionals increase their performance at work and they invest in coaching for not only their senior executives, but their entire workforce. According to the International Coaching Federation 2016 Global Coaching Study, 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their overall coaching experience.
Much like the sports world, in the corporate arena a certified coach is trained to help you see clearly where you are today and will work with you to identify ways to help you realize your ambitions and aspirations. A coach partners with a client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize their personal and professional potential.
Coaching is a series of meetings where the client is the topic and they set the agenda. During these sessions, coaches ask their clients questions to cause them to think, create answers they believe in, and motivate them to act on their own ideas. This allows the client the power to set and achieve their own objectives, increases their sense of autonomy, and promotes greater accountability and motivation.
In the fast paced private sector security world, if you want to improve your career satisfaction, reach your goals, and hold yourself accountable, working with a mentor or a coach can help. If you want to get started as a mentor or coach, talk to your supervisors and Human Resources department. For more specific guidance on how to become a certified coach, please visit the ICF’s website for training and credentialing information.
Author: Becky Root, Concentric’s Program Manager for Intelligence and Investigations. Becky is a certified coach and the Program Manager for Concentric’s Global Intelligence Team.