To Coach or To Mentor?
That’s the Question!
Many organisations are introducing coaching and mentoring as effective methods for building capacities and talent. A lot of organisations mix between these two important managerial activities, mostly because the difference between the two is not very clear for many of them! While Coaching &. Mentoring use the same approach, and set of skills. There are several differences between the two.
Coaching is task oriented – focusing on concrete issues, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, and learning how to think strategically.
Mentoring is relationship oriented – seeking to provide a safe environment where the mentee shares whatever issues affect his or her professional and personal success.
Coaching is performance driven – aiming at improving the individual’s performance on the job.
Mentoring is developmental driven – its main purpose is to develop the individual for his future career.
Frequency of Engagement
Coaching is short term – it only lasts until the performance matter.
Mentoring is long term – time is needed for both parties to learn about one another and build a relationship on trust.
Coaching is one – directional – it is mainly focused on the coachee needs
Mentoring is bi-directional – both mentors and mentees gain through the relationship.
Coaching leads to behavioral transformation – it focuses on getting someone to do something better and gain new expertise. Whether that behaviour translates itself into actually changing the inner personal dynamics of the coachee is not the prime concern.
Mentoring leads to personal transformation. This may or may not link to a specific business competency or area of expertise. Mentoring is concerned with assisting a mentee in maintaining his or her genuine identity as a member of the organisation.
Now that you have learnt the basic differences between coaching and mentoring, you can select the activity that best fits your organisation culture and the situation needs!
To learn more about coaching and mentoring, please read our article: coaching or Mentoring – What’s Best for Your organisation?