Coaching vs. Mentoring

Mentoring and coaching do have similarities and the two can get confused. They differ in the following ways:

• The mentor is the expert in a certain area and is willing to share their
knowledge, experience and expertise.
• The Mentor gives the mentee advice and guidance on a specific area
• It takes a less formal format to coaching

• The coach may not be the expert in the area of focus
• The coach uses questioning techniques to develop the coachee
• It takes a more formal format

The 10 Key differences between a Coach and a Mentor:

The Mentor willThe Coach will
Need to know the details of the mentees activitiesListen intuitively and ask intuitive questions without any need to know details
Participate in problem solvingAsk questions that help the coachee to solve the problem
Jointly develop solutions and ideasStimulate the coachee to think more creatively and expansively
Provides insights into ways to move forwardAsk permission to share models or experiences that might be useful and suggest the coachee reviews them
Input ideas and suggestionsUse skilled questioning techniques to stimulate the coachee to generate new ideas
Share expertise and experienceRemain focused on the coachee’s outcomes and only offer models or experiences for review if appropriate
Point to information or signpost sources of possible helpUse questions to help the coachee find appropriate resources and sources of help
Have an opinion and be ready to share itNever offer opinions or advice as their role is to facilitate the coachee finding and taking ownership of their own solutions
Readily answer questionsAsk questions skillfully and effectively rather than answer them
Share in the success of the menteeSeek only to facilitate the coachee’s success

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