Differences Between Mentoring and Coaching – When To Choose Each

Who is a mentor and who is a coach? How do i know when i need a mentor and when i need a coach? What does it mean to coach and to mentor? All these and many more are questions people ask from time to time. I will show you the major differences between mentoring and coaching. After reading this, you will know when to choose each of them.

There is a huge difference between a mentor and a coach. The bad part is that few persons know. The fact that you use “coach” and “mentor” interchangeably doesn’t mean they are the same. So, we want to make sure that the problem in the issue of coach vs mentor is clarified and settled.

Also See: Top Major Differences Between Occupation And Profession

If you are wondering how these two roles differ and what these professionals bring to the table, you need to know the specific responsibilities of a mentor and a coach. By the time these different roles are highlighted, you can be able to know the differences between mentoring and coaching. Who is ready to go?

Differences Between Mentoring and Coaching

To understand these differences, we will highlight their different functions.




1A coach focuses on specific skills and development goals by breaking them into concrete tasks to be completed within a specified period of time. By doing so, business coaches help and guide businesses clarify their growth vision.A mentor, in simple words, is someone who offers their knowledge, expertise and advice to those with less experience. By leveraging their experience and skills, mentors guide mentees in the right direction.
2Coaching is task oriented. The focus is on concrete issues, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, and learning how to think strategically. This requires a content expert (coach) who is capable of teaching the coachee how to develop these skills.Mentoring is relationship oriented. It seeks to provide a safe environment where the mentoree shares whatever issues affect his or her professional and personal success. Although specific learning goals or competencies may be used as a basis for creating the relationship, its focus goes beyond these areas to include things, such as work/life balance, self-confidence, self-perception, and how the personal influences the professional.
3Coaching is short term. A coach can successfully be involved with a coachee for a short period of time, maybe even just a few sessions. The coaching lasts for as long as is needed, depending on the purpose of the coaching relationship.Mentoring is always long term. Mentoring, to be successful, requires time in which both partners can learn about one another and build a climate of trust that creates an environment in which the mentoree can feel secure in sharing the real issues that impact his or her success. Successful mentoring relationships last nine months to a year.
4Coaching is performance driven. The purpose of coaching is to improve the individual’s performance on the job. This involves either enhancing current skills or acquiring new skills. Once the coachee successfully acquires the skills, the coach is no longer needed.Mentoring is development driven. Its purpose is to develop the individual not only for the current job, but also for the future. This distinction differentiates the role of the immediate manager and that of the mentor. It also reduces the possibility of creating conflict between the employee’s manager and the mentor.

Also See: Differences Between Passive, Active And Portfolio Income

If you study the above, you will have seen that there are clear Differences Between Mentoring and Coaching. So, knowing these differences help you determine the one you need to go for.

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