What Are The Differences Between Coaching And Mentoring?
Managers often confuse these two very separate disciplines and it is worth remembering that a mentor can be a coach, but a coach can never be a mentor.
Mentoring is about delivering a relationship, whereas Coaching is strictly functional, around a set of skills or competences.
Taking things a little further:
- Managers will be coaching their staff as part of their everyday job
- Coaching takes place within the normal boundaries of the manager-employee relationship
- Focus is about developing skills and competence within the current job role
- Based around the idea that staff should be as proficient as possible in their current role, delivering to the best of their ability
- Normally set up and driven by the manager and ends when that employee moves on
- Takes place outside of a line manager-employee relationship and is set up with the mutual consent of the mentor and the mentee
- Is career focused or has a focus upon personal development which may be outside the mentee’s normal job role and function
- This is a personal relationship where the mentor gives both professional and personal support
- The relationship crosses traditional job boundaries
- Normally set up for a specific periodin a formal programme – once this expires it may continue informally
Both approaches have very clear benefits and practical considerations, and should be closely matched to the individual and situation concerned. Make sure you make the right selection for the right reasons.
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