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Coach or Mentor: What’s the Difference?
To a lot of people, mentoring and coaching is basically the same thing - teaching a person or a group for the better. Though it might be true, there are glaring differences between them. We’re here to differentiate coaching and mentoring and find out their true meaning.
Who Do You Need Now?
We can define coaching as a process that aims to improve performance and focuses more on the present rather than the future. A coach gives specific advice about the specific topic that a person would like to improve and they work on it together.
On the other hand, mentoring is defined as a relationship between a mentor and a mentee that works towards a common goal. Mentoring focuses on the now as well as the future while the mentors use their experiences in the past as a perspective in guiding their mentees to their goal or vision.
What Coaches Bring vs Mentors
- Has a specific topic or skill to work on. This allows the coach to focus on that topic or skill and hone it to the fullest
- Present Centric. Coaching focuses on the “you” now, meaning that you’ll see the results much faster
- Short Term. Since coaching focus on one point, it is often short-term and you can jump to another skill or topic faster
- Performance driven. Coaching pushes you to perform in a day-to-day basis using the knowledge you gained from it
- Training and Pay. There a lot of training courses available for coaching and often companies pay for coaches to help their employees improve in specific skills
- Long Term. A mentoring relationship is often long-term which gives you time to reach your goal
- Two-way learning. A mentee learns from their mentor and the mentor learns a new perspective on how to approach certain events along the mentoring relationship
- Development driven. Mentoring encourages you to develop overall while still working towards a common goal
- Past, Present, and Future. Mentoring focuses on the present and future while using the experience and perspective gained from the past to elevate and evolve the current relationships
- Variety. Anyone can be a mentor for you may it be a formal or informal relationship. The most important thing is they fit your mentoring profile/needs
Which to Choose? One or Both
Though mentoring and coaching differs at some points, their benefits mirror each other. Both coaching and mentoring are great and effective learning techniques that help people improve. In an organizational standpoint, both can increase employee retention as well as greatly improve the company’s environment leading to success. Lastly, coaching and mentoring can increase the confidence level and interpersonal skills - giving you an advantage in all aspects of your life.
Mentoring and coaching are different but they still have some sort of similarity with each other. When choosing which one to approach, consider the following:
- Am I looking for short- or long-term help?
- Is there something specific I am working on or just need more general help?
- Do I need it just for now or for the future as well?
Keeping these questions in mind, you won’t have any problems choosing between coaching and mentoring. AugMentors are here to help you in your mentoring needs! Connect with us now!