Coaching or Mentoring

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring? What difference does this make? Is coaching or mentoring more effective in the workplace? In this blog series, we explore the differences and the considerations for each.

How is a mentor different from a coach?

* A mentor talks and a coach listens.

* A mentor gives advice and a coach asks questions.

* A mentor focuses the conversation on their own experience and a coach focuses the conversation on enhancing the skills and outcomes for the other person.


A mentor is the expert with the answers and a coach is the expert at eliciting the answers from the person doing the work.

In clarifying the difference between mentoring and coaching, the difference of each approach becomes clear. A mentor serves to share expertise and is essentially a teacher. A coach serves to develop expertise and is essentially a facilitator.

In the workplace, both approaches provide value. A mentor adds value by sharing their experiences, connections, and wisdom. A coach adds value by engaging the other person to explore their options, expand their thinking, develop effective action plans, and follow through.

In the next blog posts explore considerations for mentoring and coaching programs plus steps to create these programs.

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