Difference between Coaching and Mentoring

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Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Both coaching and mentoring have the same goal: to assist others in growing, developing, and realizing their full potential. Individuals can take responsibility for their own personal and professional growth using either method. When addressing people development, the two are usually jumbled together, making it appear like an either/or situation for businesses. However, there are certain key differences in coaching vs mentoring, it is vital to think of them as different entities and understand how they complement each other. In this blog, we will discuss the difference between mentorship and coaching!

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Coaching vs Mentoring

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Various employee development procedures are developed in a business in order to improve employee performance. Coaching vs mentoring are two examples of such programs. In coaching vs mentoring, Coaching, on one hand, is the practice of teaching and monitoring someone in order to improve their performance. In coaching vs mentoring, mentoring is a counseling procedure that is used to guide and encourage a person’s career growth.

Basis For ComparisonCoachingMentoring
DefinitionCoaching is a method in which an individual is supervised by a superior person to improve his competencies and capabilities.Mentoring is an advisory process in which a fresher gets support and guidance from a senior person.
PeriodShort TermLong Term
Specializes inA coach who imparts coaching has expertise in the concerned field.A mentor is a person having good knowledge and experience.
Type of relationshipFormalInformal
ObjectiveTo analyze the performances of the subordinates and improve them.To help an employee to attain psychological maturity and effectiveness.

What is a Mentor?

A mentor is someone who can help you be the best you can be in your work by guiding, advising, and supporting you. They take the time to get to know you and the problems you’re encountering, then offer advice based on their knowledge of the problem and personal experience, all with the goal of assisting you in achieving your objectives. Increased self-confidence, improved communication and leadership abilities, and exposure to other perspectives are all advantages of mentoring. As a result, mentors are more likely to encourage and motivate their mentees to advance in their professions.

Key Elements of a Mentoring

Coaching vs mentoring
Source: HR Daily Advisor

Long Term

If a mentoring connection leads to friendship, it has the potential to endure a lifetime. Even if you originally seek a mentor to assist you with a specific objective, after you’ve established a relationship with someone, you may contact them again in the future. Because of its personal and informal nature, mentoring relationships tend to last longer than coaching ones.


Mentoring is usually done on a volunteer basis. There is rarely an expectation of payment for the mentor’s time, whether the mentoring takes place informally through personal networks or officially through a business mentoring program. Both sides are committed to the mentee’s personal growth, and the process is also extremely rewarding for the mentor.

Mentees drive the session

The mentee is in charge of leading the sessions and guiding the relationships in mentoring. A frequent misconception is that a mentor will tell you exactly what to do and help you become more successful, but this is not the case. Mentees must be committed to their personal growth and use their mentor to assist them in achieving their objectives.

The Skills Required for Mentoring

  • Compassion: Helping and compassion is one of the most important skills that a mentor should possess. Mentoring is brillant way to give back to the community and help the coming generation.
  • Guidance: Ability to guide students in the field of your expertise is highly rewarding and a unique skill to hone. Mentors provide their mentees with first-hand experience, knowledge, and concerte guidance to grow.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Mentors must have interpersonal skills and communication skills to build a connection with their mentees and to guide them seamlessly.
  • Commitment: Mentorship is a long-term journey that involves a long-term commitment from both mentors and mentees. It is important to be in it for the long-run and ensure a positive relationship.
  • Motivation: One of the most important skills for a mentor are to be motivating and encouraging in nature.
  • Intuitiveness: Another skill all mentors should possess is initutiveness and the ability to identify the mentee’s goals.

What is a Coach?

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While there are many various forms of coaching and career coaches, at the end of the day, a coach is someone who can assist you in certain areas of personal or professional growth. They may help you discover and prioritise areas for development, break down your long-term goal into smaller objectives, and shape and grow your mindset. Career coaches can help you get a better understanding of yourself, develop your attitude, and prepare you for future difficulties and scenarios.

Key Elements of a Coaching

Coaching vs mentoring
Source: A Principal’s Reflection

Short Term

Coaching relationships are more short-term than mentoring relationships because they are more organized and goal-oriented. Someone may seek the assistance of a coach to help them acquire a certain talent or overcome a limiting mindset. It’s possible that the coaching will come to an end after the skill or goal has been achieved.

Training & Upskilling

Coaching, instead of advising and directing, focuses on training and upskilling in order to help you create a winning attitude. A coach can assist you in increasing your self-awareness by identifying areas for growth and questioning assumptions that may be holding you back from achieving your objectives.

Coach drives the session

Unlike in a mentoring relationship, a coach is more likely than the client to lead the sessions. While the client will naturally have input and will be taking responsibility for their own growth by participating in coaching, they will not be expected to manage the sessions. 

Note: Depending on the teaching approach, this may vary.

The Skills Required for Coaching

  • Equality: Coach and coachee share mutual understanding and respect which is cruical to buidling a relationship of equals.
  • Maximise Potential: Coaches aim to maximise potential skills and resources of the mentee.
  • Intuititveness: Coaches like mentors are required to be highly intuitive and must have the ability to recognise strengths and challenge their coachee.
  • Problem Solving Skills: Coaches tackle problems in an effective and systematic to manner and train their mentees to
  • Analytical Skills: The ability to raise awareness and responsibility both with the individual being coached, overall office and organisational environmental level.
  • Practical Skills: Mentors should possess and imbibe practical skills to convert discussions into actions.

The Key Benefits to Mentoring and Coaching

Key benefits to mentoring and coaching are as follows:

  • Mentoring and coaching impart effective learning techniques and skills
  • It helps in increasing employee engagement and retention
  • Mentoring and coaching can take place in both formal and informal setting, the former is more informal in nature while the latter is formal.
  • Both help in building a structure and running a seamless organisation.
  • Mentoring and coaching can increase confidence, interpersonal skills and communication skills
  • Both can help improve individual performance as well help build a unique network for both mentors/coaches and mentees/coachees.

Types of Development Distinction

Now, that we have understood how mentoring is different from coaching and understood the subtle differences in coaching vs mentoring. Now, let’s see some more terms which are very often used interchangeably:

Trainer vs Mentor

The training usually targets the “average learner”. It examines the whole group of trainees. The facilitators then create material based on where the group is presently and where they need to be in the future. If you join a Basic Excel course, for example, participants will have varying levels of experience. Some people may have never dealt with Excel before, while others may know how to use it but need some pointers. Learning takes place in the classroom and (ideally) translates to the workplace through training. Training is, thus, an event.

Mentoring, on the other hand, is a form of professional growth in which a less experienced person seeks guidance, knowledge, and support from a more experienced worker. Unlike training, which may or may not be necessary, mentoring is a two-way social learning engagement. Mentoring takes place outside of the classroom, on a computer, or on a mobile device. It is extremely personalized. Mentees and mentors both benefit from training, but it is only the beginning. Mentoring partners pick where they want to go and what skills/attitudes/ideas they want to learn following training.

Manager vs Mentor

The significance of a mentor and a manager in the success of any person as an individual in a company cannot be overstated. Manager and mentor responsibilities sometimes overlap, and workers may be mentored by supervisors. When a mentee’s primary goal is to succeed in their present position, a manager as a mentor is the best fit. Mentorship is essentially a component of a manager’s duties.

Whether directed by a boss or mentored by a mentor, an employee’s focus must be on progress. Good leadership is defined by a person’s capacity to motivate individuals and teams to achieve success despite their differences. Managers can assist an employee focus on the current tasks that are essential contributors to the broader picture, while mentors can help an individual achieve broad professional objectives.

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Trainer vs Coach

A key distinction between a coach and a trainer is their focus: coaches are primarily concerned with a team, whereas a trainer is concerned with a single athlete or a small group. If a player plays cornerback in high school, for example, a defensive back coach will most likely work with them to teach appropriate technique, zone coverage, assignments, and duties. A personal trainer, on the other hand, might focus on an athlete’s strengths in order to strengthen them and address his weaknesses. A coach may help with speed, agility, and even covering if necessary. As a result, coaches increase an athlete’s ability to contribute to the team, whereas a trainer can improve the athlete’s performance.

Coach vs Counselor

Professional counselors and coaches have a connection that is frequently compared to that of stepsiblings. They are only loosely related since they share the same family name: ‘helping professional,’ and they both use interpersonal communication abilities that are similar. However, while both counselors and coaches provide services to help individuals and businesses reach their maximum potential, their responsibilities are very different.

While the relationship between the client and the counselor/coach is similar in that both provide perspectives and assist the individual in identifying his or her own answers, coaching is more of a “co-creative” collaboration. A counselor may offer advice and guidelines to help the client follow a position to healing; a coach, on the other hand, works with the client to identify challenges and then partners with him or her to turn those challenges into victories, all while holding the client accountable and motivating and encouraging them to achieve their desired goals.

Coach vs Manager

Managers are task-oriented and frequently give instructions to team members to ensure that the project is completed on time and on budget. When a crisis strikes or when you need to achieve certain results fast and effectively, managing comes in handy. Being a manager involves being the go-to person for advice and answers within your staff.

Coaching is the other half of the same leadership coin. Whereas managing involves issuing orders, assigning tasks, and tracking progress, coaching entails collaboration and discovery. A coach is someone who helps team members progress to the next stage of development, resulting in the development of new leaders within the company.

Mentoring vs Counseling

Mentors usually work with employees who are in the early stages of their careers. Mentorships are frequently assigned by companies, although they can also grow on their own. The job is frequently referred to as an adviser. In most situations, experienced professionals with seniority are partnered with those who are just starting out. 

Coaches are required to complete a specific amount of mentor hours in order for an experienced coach to assist them in developing their coaching abilities. Any career benefits from having someone in your desired field provide support through a mentor relationship. It’s an often-overlooked resource for creating a sense of community within businesses.

Trainer vs Counselor

Counseling aims at examining the aspects of people’s lives and relationships. While both counselors and coaches ask questions, counselors are less likely to discuss duties and performance. Counseling’s objective is to help people understand and accept themselves. On the other hand, the acquisition and mastering of information and skills are at the heart of training. Additional to asking questions, you must use other tools as a trainer, such as lecturing, giving feedback on tasks, and, in certain circumstances, providing evaluative comments.

Training vs Coaching vs Mentoring

Coaching in the workplace is a one-on-one approach that achieves results via a collaborative, goal-oriented interaction. As a result, a coach joins the partnership with the intention of consciously and actively achieving personal goals. This is significantly distinct from either a training or mentoring relationship in terms of concept.

Because training involves the transfer of knowledge from a teacher to a learner, it is inherently hierarchical. “I have a lot of things I want you to grow better at, and I’m going to teach you,” is the foundation of training. In a professional or workplace context, training is usually planned, formal, and given to new recruits in a group setting, with the emphasis on telling rather than asking.

Mentoring is more of a long-term connection built on trust, respect, and a desire to learn the wisdom that would ideally lead to particular goals. In coaching vs mentoring, mentoring, like training, is a hierarchical knowledge relationship. The mentor in a mentoring relationship is believed to be a highly experienced professional in the mentee’s area, and the mentor gives guidance or career counsel to the mentee in the workplace.

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Coaching vs Teaching vs Mentoring

Teaching focuses on ensuring that a person understands the fundamental concepts and essential elements required to complete a task. Teaching should take place in a setting that permits students to make mistakes without jeopardizing the project or organisation.  

Coaching takes place in the real world, where things happen. Coaching takes place in the midst of the action! The coach’s knowledge must be based on a wealth of experience applying fundamental principles and important points in a variety of circumstances. As the practitioner begins to apply what he or she has learned, he or she will encounter situations that are unique, and he or she will almost always need to make decisions.

Mentoring is concerned with the person and his or her route to success. People will reconsider their long-term objectives as they grow older and gain more experience. The Mentor’s duty is to assist him or her in forming a vision of the future and a route to get there. A mentor does not discuss concepts or crucial points with you.

Also Read: How to Become a Counselor?

Coaching vs Mentoring vs Managing

The primary distinctions between coaching, mentoring, and managing are dependent on the nature of the connection between the persons engaged and the desired goal. Coaching, for example, is a more intimate, usually short-term connection that is fostered for the purpose of personal or professional growth.

Mentoring is a mutually beneficial connection that lasts a year or more with the goal of developing a certain talent rather than completing a job. Managing is a professional relationship that is utilized to accomplish operational objectives and is determined by organizational structure. It has an endless life. The sort of leadership relationship you have with someone should be defined by the desired goal.

Coaching and mentoring are becoming more popular as tools for professional growth, indicating good changes in persons, and encouraging knowledge transfer from the coach/mentor to the individual. Many organizations and companies have found that coaching and mentoring is extremely useful to their employee’s career development, therefore coaching and mentoring have been used by many individuals in their companies.

Must Read: How to Become a Career Counselor?

In this blog, we saw the difference between mentoring and coaching along with other differences between a trainer, coach, manager, supervisor, and counselor. Differences between coaching vs mentoring is important yet subtle. We hope the information provided was helpful. Connect with Leverage Edu for more educational content!

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