The 5 Key Differences With Coaching And Mentoring

If you are thinking about getting a coach or mentor, then knowing the differences between the two relationships will help you decide which one is the best option for you.


 The 5 Key Differences with Coaching and Mentoring

 “A coach has some great questions for your answers and a mentor has some great answers for your questions” Unknown

1. Coaching is about focusing on building your capability to improve your performance v Mentoring focuses on support, advice and long term personal development

2. The relationship with a coach is short term – 6-12 months v Mentoring is a much longer lasting relationship -can last for years

3. Coaching is more structured in its approach and often has set tasks for you to complete v Mentoring which tends to be more informal and on an as needs basis as required by the mentee

4. With coaching the coach will ask more thought provoking/challenging questions v mentoring where the mentee will ask more inquiry based questions to access the mentors knowledge and expertise

5. Coaching has specific measurable outcomes to achieve v mentoring where there is more interest in overall long term development of a mentee – rather than specific results

Now that you know the difference between coaching and mentoring the next step is to figure out which one is the best option for you.

Here are 2 questions for you to consider when it comes to making the decision Coaching or Mentoring?

  1. Do I want to develop my skills and capabilities to improve who I am and my performance currently or do I want to gain more insight, advise and knowledge about my future and what that could be?
  2. Do I want to invest in myself and pay for a coach? If not, then a mentor is a more realistic option.

Two great quotes that describe the difference coaching and mentoring relationships

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

— Tom Landry

“I think mentors are important and I don’t think anybody makes it in the world without some form of mentorship. Nobody makes it alone. Nobody has made it alone. And we are all mentors to people even when we don’t know it.”
— Oprah Winfrey

 If you still can’t decide, why not have both?

When you are considering if you need a coach or mentor remember,  that you can have both – you could have an  informal relationship with a mentor  who guides, advises and supports you and at the same time have a professional coach who keeps you accountable and where the relationship is more time bound specific, measurable and performance driven.

 The Value of Coaching and Mentoring for Me.

I have had a number of coaches and mentors over the years and I don’t know where I would be without the support and guidance of these people.

Some of the mentors in my life have been formal relationships where I have sought them out and many have been informal relationships that have come about because we have met and share common interests or ideas.

What I love about the mentoring relationship that I have experienced is that I know my questions will have answers that come from the wisdom, experience and the respect that these mentors have built throughout their lives. My mentors want me to succeed in life and I know that they are invested in my success because they choose to be in a relationship with me. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Each coach that I have paid for has improved my performance, my productivity ,my self-belief and my confidence in my skills, strengths and my value.

Why coaching works for me is that I know that I need to be kept accountable and knowing that I have tasks to complete which will be assessed at the next session is the motivator I need to complete the tasks – no excuses or distractions!

My personal trainer every week challenges me to be stronger and fitter even when I don’t believe it. My business & sales coach challenges me (every session) when I don’t do what I said I would – e.g. finalise my sales strategy, write up my sales report etc.

It’s tough going – but if I want a return on my investment (ROI) I have to commit to doing the work! When I do the work that’s when exceptional results are achieved by ME!

So if you are thinking …..what am I going to do now?? Maybe a coach could be your answer.

At M2M we have coaching courses that focus on moving people to More…. Click here to check out our courses and to find out what MORE could be for you…. …..

Or click here and book a 30 min FREE coaching strategy session with Me and I can ask you the tough questions that will definitely help you to move to MORE in your life.