At their simplest coaching and mentoring are methods for personal and professional development at work.
They are positive, “helping” forms of development which offer personalised, 1:1 support to enable movement and action in work based issues and career development.
Are Coaching and Mentoring the same thing?
Whilst coaching and mentoring have many similarities, for example, at the heart of both lies a relationship based on mutual trust and respect, they also have key distinguishing differences – check the table here to see the similarities and differences to allow you to choose which may work best for you.
Similarities and differences between coaching and mentoring:
- Coaches and mentors use a questioning approach to enable the Mentee/Coachee to consider options and potential solutions
- Much of the learning occurs in the reflections of Coachee/Mentee between or long after sessions
- Coach and mentor both have a duty of care towards the Coachee/Mentee
- Advice/suggestions may be given, but not as a first resort and only in specific situations
- Agenda is set by the Mentee/Coachee.
- Coaching tends to be short or medium term assignment or activity focused on performance on a defined topic or role
- Mentoring tends to be medium to long term relationship focused on career or on more holistic, less well-defined issues
- Mentor usually more senior and shares experience in a specified area.
- Coaches tend to be non directive since they do not usually provide advice, but concentrates on helping the Coachee consider their options and come to their own conclusions and decisions. For that reason, It is not a requirement for the coach to have expertise in the work or discipline area of their Coachee, or be in a more senior position.