Coaching Programs: Differentiate between Coaching, Mentoring, Training, and Managing

IMG_1515While these roles are often inter-mingled and misunderstood, a clear awareness of the value and distinctions of each role enhances positive results.  Each role is truly unique and distinct, serves a specific purpose, and is handled differently.  Knowing how coaching is different and understanding the role is essential for a successful program.  What does each do?


  • Provide expertise
  • Gives advice
  • Offers input


  • Informs of decisions
  • Provides direction
  • Gives feedback


  • Assesses learning needs
  • Develops training programs
  • Manages learning environment
  • Provides information
  • Creates learning exercises


  • Elicits the direction and expertise from the coachee
  • Provides the process for the coachee to strategize and plan
  • Empowers the coachee to make their own decisions and determine actions
  • Asks the coachee how it is working and what they want to adjust
  • Affirms coachee progress and success

Bottom line: how coaching is most different from the other roles is that the coach never tells, never makes it about their opinion, never gives direction, never decides on strategy or actions.  The coach does empower the coachee, serve as a sounding board to give them space to explore, ask probing and clarifying questions to expand and challenge thinking, then asks the coachee to define what they want and how they will make it happen.

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