What are Coaching and Mentoring?
Both coaching and mentoring are processes that enable
both individual and corporate clients to achieve their full
Coaching and mentoring share many similarities so it
makes sense to outline the common things coaches and mentors
do whether the services are offered in a paid (professional)
or unpaid (philanthropic) role.
- Facilitate the exploration of needs, motivations,
desires, skills and thought processes to assist the
individual in making real, lasting change.
- Use questioning techniques to facilitate client's
own thought processes in order to identify solutions and
actions rather than takes a wholly directive approach
- Support the client in setting appropriate goals and
methods of assessing progress in relation to these goals
- Observe, listen and ask questions to understand the
- Creatively apply tools and techniques which may
include one-to-one training, facilitating, counselling &
- Encourage a commitment to action and the development
of lasting personal growth & change.
- Maintain unconditional positive regard for the
client, which means that the coach is at all times
supportive and non-judgemental of the client, their
views, lifestyle and aspirations.
- Ensure that clients develop personal competencies
and do not develop unhealthy dependencies on the
coaching or mentoring relationship.
- Evaluate the outcomes of the process, using
objective measures wherever possible to ensure the
relationship is successful and the client is achieving
their personal goals.
- Encourage clients to continually improve
competencies and to develop new developmental alliances
where necessary to achieve their goals.
- Work within their area of personal competence.
- Possess qualifications and experience in the areas
that skills-transfer coaching is offered.
- Manage the relationship to ensure the client
receives the appropriate level of service and that
programmes are neither too short, nor too long.
The difference between coaching and mentoring
As can be seen above, there are many similarities between
coaching and mentoring! Mentoring, particularly in its
traditional sense, enables an individual to follow in the
path of an older and wiser colleague who can pass on
knowledge, experience and open doors to otherwise
out-of-reach opportunities. Coaching on the other hand is
not generally performed on the basis that the coach has
direct experience of their client's formal occupational role
unless the coaching is specific and skills focused.
Having said this, there are professionals offering their
services under the name of mentoring who have no direct
experience of their clients' roles and others offering
services under the name of coaching who do. So the moral of
the story is, it is essential to determine what your needs
are and to ensure that the coach or mentor can supply you
with the type and level of service you require, whatever
that service is called.