Home > education, leadership, management, Planning > is there a difference between coaching and mentoring?

is there a difference between coaching and mentoring?

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Here are the differences I see between coaches and mentors:

1. to me coaching is about improving performance first and the person second. I see mentors focused on individual growth, holistically, rather than specific or particular performance.

2. I think the coach gets his power or authority from the formal position that he holds on the team or organization and his role is generally well understood and standardized, whereas a mentor I think shapes his role in consultation with his partner.

3. I think coaches are taking specific looks at improving performance on a particular task and usually as a member of the team whereas I think the mentor is considering positive personal growth that spans a career or an entire life.

4. I think mentors get chosen by the junior partner whereas coaches are assigned to a team in your on the team so that your coach and perhaps the only choice you have is whether or not to join the team.

5. I think coaches have standardized templates of high-performance that’s related to specific tasks whereas mentors develop the agenda for growth after consulting with their junior partner.

6. I know a lot of people that don’t have mentors and yet seem to do just fine, whereas I cannot imagine a team that would do very well without a coach

7. I think there are many times when coaches can be directive and authoritarian, whereas a mentor just about has to be Socratic to be effective since everything is about the inner life of the junior partner whereas in coaching it’s about the team

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  1. March 24, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Interesting distinctions.

    I do have a serious challenge with the analysis, mainly because many of the coaches with whom I’ve been associated, especially those who have been or are connected through Coachville, would in my view see the development of the whole person, holistically as of primary importance in their role as coaches. But I guess from what you say that you must associate with a different tribe of coaches – and there are certainly many tribes!

    I’ve been a coach for several years now and I have not been part of a team, nor have I used “standardized templates of high-performance … related to specific tasks”. I guess in your terminology I would be more of a mentor than a coach, but I resist quite deliberately being locked into that category.

    My own view, for what it might be worth, is that there is a continuum, from training, through coaching, through mentoring, rather than quite separate categories and clearly delineated roles.

    Thanks for sharing your views. I do think it is a discussion worth having.

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