Hi there, Blueskies, that sounds like a pretty optimistic name.
It sounds like you were a little interested in hearing what the workshop would be like ahead of time, and I would say we have missed your deadline. In my experience, there is always at least one thing I can take away from a workshop, and the more open to the topic and the setting and the rules that the presenter has, the better the experience is for me. You have to be removed from the pulse of daily work life in order to get the best of it, so when it is off-site (and your work is covered at home base), the chances are better you will gain some value. Hopefully that went well, and maybe you will share some feedback about it.
If you're looking for comments about the topic of coaching and mentoring ASIDE from the workshop, I can offer a little bit of my perspective. I'm not a trainer on the topic and I don't circulate my writing on the topic "officially," but I think I have dabbled/babbled on this a lot here.
Coaching to me is about ensuring a team player is contributing what they can in the larger picture. Mentoring amounts to the same thing sometimes, especially if you are working at improving an employee's performance and making the undesired (poor) results a thing of the past. I think mentoring is also about creating a path of development for an individual (new things for them to do, new roles, new earning - "growth"), and future change for the person could be "sooner" or "later."
A manager or boss figure has a lot of authority to exercise in coaching and mentoring. The degree to which a manager is successful at them can amount to whether an employee stays or goes, and to whether the company has a good enough number of good employees. (This doesn't involve keeping everyone, this involves keeping employees that are good for the organization over time and helping employees who are not good for the organization for very long to move on.)
When I hear people say that "listening skills" are paramount to a manager being successful, I don't hear a lot. It doesn't say much. How do I help myself to really understand it and to deliver on coaching and mentoring and being a boss in areas same and new?
There is NO BETTER PLACE to learn about how to be a manager than from the manager's employees. Intelligence, patience, interactive skills in general and learning through various methods are all but companions to the chief learning tool for managers: their people. People in a team with a boss teach us through the virtues and vices and everything in between what a manager needs to be. This is a good mindset to have when faced with being a new manager, because people don't necessarily want to feel like they are being "taught" - that's diminishing, they have been at school, and they may very well have been at their jobs longer than the manager. They need to be able to show that they contribute, because they are worth something. "Listening skills" as a vital piece to being a good manager mean more to me when I look at it that way. I need to hear what someone can do for all of us, and I need to enable that voice to come out. I may have varying types of voices/demeanors in the group, from supremely adept at interaction everywhere they go to less articulate/refined/communicative and "rough around the edges." I need to plot the ways the two extremes, if they exist, will contribute their say and be recognized as value, and a STEP. My "listening skill" has amounted to a STEP for a team member who might very well know a lot more than I do about an area that is new to me. Their knowing more about that content doesn't stop me from being that person's leader. I'm that person's leader because I learned from them (or maybe saw them voice something I already knew; it depends) and I enabled them to shine with it and go to the next STEP. And I CARED to know which step in the stairway they were at, along the way.
Coaching and mentoring are a lot of steps that amount to a change to a person's life at the most extreme, but just a better day at work for some team members.
Blueskies, it could very well be that your manager wants YOU to be the manager, so that your boss can be at their next step on X date. And getting involved in workshops that have to do with coaching and mentoring (making individuals deliver for a team, contribute what they can in their way) might be an educational way for all of that to happen. I really/absolutely don't know. Maybe it is more about generating better health within the organization's departments. When employees don't feel heard, that's a danger inside and outside. When we pay attention to coaching and mentoring duties, we are paying attention to a company we want to stay around.
Just my version of a response - thanks :)