Coaching and mentoring: what is the difference?

Coaching is aimed at unfolding the potential of people, while mentoring usually focuses on the experience of the mentor. Learn their differences in detail.

Last update: 09 September, 2021

On the way to accompany people to enhance their skills, numerous tools emerge. Each one will choose the one that is best for them. However, in these elections the misinformation is proportional to the number of options available. And this is something that happens with him coaching and the mentoring.

To evaluate what is best, it is important to identify what each one consists of and what it offers. Let's see its characteristics in detail.

What is coaching?

According to the European School of Coaching, practice is a communication and leadership skills training. In this way, self-knowledge and contact of the person with their environment is promoted.

There are different types of coaching, but in general assumptions are shared. One of them has to do with the fact that every person has a potential to be discovered and that this path can be facilitated through guidance or guidance. Accompanying this process is the task of the coach.

Another of his starting points is related to the idea of ​​change. For him coaching, change is a reality and all people can change as much as they are willing to.

That is why it also focuses on the client identifying their strengths and weaknesses and can be the protagonist of change, freeing themselves from the beliefs and actions that limit it. It is a process that is non-directive, that is, no instructions are given, but rather it is accompanied.

The customer is expected to make decisions by combining dialogue and practical exercises. This helps you to reflect to get where you want.

In work environments, the coaching to tend to achieve brand or personal goals.

What is mentoring?

For a first approach to mentoring we can think of a keyword: experience. The mentoring is a relationship established between a person who has experience and track record and that guides and guides another.

The practice is based on a learning process that implies objectives and a methodology to achieve the transfer of knowledge. It is usually applied to the organizational field, oriented to professional development.

Especially in labor it has important benefits. It allows you to acquire a strategic vision of the business, an expert training and expand the network of contacts.

How is coaching different from mentoring?

The coaching and the mentoring they do not have to be exclusive. But they do have their differences.

The object of interest

While for him mentoring the object and interest lies in the experience that the mentor can provide, the coaching focuses on the person unfolding potential and the abilities that are his own, that he learns to trust them and believe in himself. It is focused on the client being able to identify the objective to be achieved and learning to trace paths to do so.

The mentoringInstead, it can be focused on something very specific, like improving an employee's experience on a certain topic. Meanwhile he coaching focuses on developing communication and soft skills, for example for employees in coordination positions.

However, it must also be considered that the mentoring can have very different styles. There are those who, in addition to sharing their knowledge, also enhance the skills of the other.

Times and deadlines

In general, coaching they are usually planned with limited times. For his part, mentoring it's long-term, like a permanent relationship.

Likewise, when a person chooses a mentor, they usually keep in contact with him, making consultations, asking for his advice or supervision on certain topics. However, it must also be considered that these times depend on the objectives set.

At mentoring a long-term relationship can be fostered between the experienced and the newer.

Profile and necessary skills

The coach is prepared to carry out a program of coaching. For its part, the mentor not only has to be a connoisseur and expert of the subject on which he is consulted, but he must also possess skills and knowledge to lead this process of mentoring. Because, not every expert is a mentor, but every mentor is an expert.

Knowledge empowers us

If we return to the initial idea about misinformation, it is important to understand that before embarking on any path, it is necessary to know and have prior information. In this way, it is possible to exercise our agency power, making decisions based on utility or not of certain proposals.

Boundaries often get a little blurry. Not all professionals respect the relevant concerns.

Finally, it is important to understand that all tools have something to contribute to the growth of a person. Therefore, professionals must be the main spokespersons for their activity and raise awareness and report on its benefits.