Comparing Mentoring and Coaching
There are some key differences between mentoring and coaching.
Mentoring- is known as the transfer of wisdom and has a protégé or
mentee that takes an interest in their career path. The protégé is
guided and advised by the mentor who has worn the same shoes and
traveled the same path, usually someone older and wiser. The mentor
guides, persuades, and encourages a person to reach their full
potential in life, in a position in an organization or in a career.
Mentors who may be immediate superiors are helpful in career
developments of the individual, and in some cases guidance is provided
by executives or managers higher up in the organization. The higher
level superiors guide, advise, and encourage employees of a lesser
rank in these situations.
On the other hand coaching is more specific for teaching of skills to
the coachee or trainee. It is a transfer of skills and a one on one
development of the trainee's own knowledge and thought process. It
also emphasizes the development of individual and team skills, and
creates a supportive environment which encourages and motivates the
coachee. Coaching is on a personal level and illustrates persistently
until success is achieved. The personal qualities of the coachee are
developed and facilitated.
1) A mentor needs a level of experience to reach or achieve the
individual/team’s goal and need to know what the mentee is
experiencing to have a level of mutual understanding between each
other. This allows a better level of measurement of the mentee as
they can comprehend the ‘experience’ of the mentor which will build
confidence performance levels for the mentee. For example, if a
mentee needs a mentor’s help in a crisis the mentee will know that
they have someone there to help and not feel uncomfortable or
intimidated to ask for guidance or advice.
2) Generally, a mentor is older and wiser than the mentee, and to be a
good mentor means that they have the experience and knowledge to help
develop the individual/team’s skills. This represents the mentor’s
status or position in the organization. If the mentor seems too
young, the mentee may feel intimidated and feel unsuited to the whole
3) A good mentor must be supportive to the individual/team through
‘thick and thin’ situations. A mentor that doesn’t care about the
mentee or their goals and tasks will not have a successful
relationship. Encouragement and support is needed to instill
confidence and build character in the individual/team. The mentor
must believe in their protégé and the protégé must be aware that the
mentor believes in them.
1) To understand the goal of the individual/team will determine
whether the coach is good. The coach must understand and know why and
what they are needed for, therefore clarification is essential in
knowing the need and goal of their job. This may prove especially