By understanding the differences between business mentoring & coaching, you will be able to decide what is best to facilitate your professional development.
A question often asked is in business circles is what are the differences between coaching and mentoring. Coaching and mentoring are words which are often interchanged in the business world and there are some similarities but also key differences. Learn more about each style of training to find out what may work best.
Different aims of coaching and mentoring
Coaching is about achieving stated goals and being held accountable to an external party during that process. The coach’s role is to empower the client and hold them accountable for their results. Coaches provide a mirror and a sounding board, encouraging the client to find their own solutions to challenges as they arise. Once the initial goals are achieved, the client can either end the relationship or work with the coach to set more ambitious goals that take them to a higher level. Mentoring on the other hand is more about knowledge transfer and focuses heavily on developing personal and interpersonal skills to help the client achieve both personal and professional outcomes.
Difference approaches for coaching and mentoring
A mentor may be someone who works in a similar industry to you and either holds a senior position or is more experienced in their field, or someone who has extensive business experience and has developed specific mentoring skills. A coach will typically work in a consultancy and is not there to pass on advice as such but to stimulate discussion about different ways of thinking in a business or personal sphere.
Some coaches with many years of business experience can also operate as mentors, providing hard-earned knowledge and techniques to enable their clients to enhance their communication skills and adopt new strategies and behaviours that will drive their results.
Duration of coaching and mentoring
Coaching is a formal relationship and usually done by an external consultant over a set period of time, which can range from a few sessions to a year or more. Mentoring can be done on a formal and informal basis and is usually done on a long term basis. Some mentors can develop such strong relationships with their mentees that they last a lifetime.
Variation in the roles of coaching and mentoring
A mentor’s role may be to offer advice, act as a sounding board, facilitate introductions to powerful and influential people, share information about the industry and advocate career development and training to develop your leadership skills. However, the role of a coach may be more about using questioning techniques to reach a collaborative solution than offer direct guidance.
Different levels of hierarchy
Although peer-to-peer mentoring is growing in popularity, a mentor is usually senior in terms of experience and teaches through personal experience. A business coach on the other hand is about the meeting of the minds, a partnership of equals and collaborating with you to reach the goals you have set in your initial coaching sessions.
Quantum Value is a boutique consultancy that specialises in providing tailored coaching and mentoring solutions for business owners and executives from small companies through to large multinationals. Contact us to find out more about results-focused coaching and mentoring programs based on our Integrity and Values Profiling System to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.