Coaching vs. Mentoring

Many people believe that coaching and mentoring is similar. However, there are major differences between coaching and mentoring.

Coaching is typically short-term with actions taken in small steps and performance-driven with self-discovery whereas mentoring helps the mentee to develop by being inspired by the mentor’s experience. The mentor supports the mentee in an informal manner.

Coaching is an action-oriented self-discovery process whereas a mentor is typically a subject-matter-expert who guides the mentee with advice.

Coaching and mentoring differ in a variety of other ways. Coaching is more structured with a co-created agenda followed up with regular meetings. Mentoring is more informal and focuses on the development of the individual. A mentor is often more experienced and has more seniority in their field and the outcomes are often more difficult to quantify beyond some positive outcomes.

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