You have heard already about the importance of coaching and mentoring for lots of different reasons. However, like a lot of other people, you must believe that coaching and mentoring are same things. Both of them are valuable resources but they are a lot different from each other.

In the past, mentors were assigned to organizations to help employees learn the ropes. In short, mentors share their own wisdom to provide guidance and insights to entrepreneurs to help them face the challenges they encounter along their journey. They respond to issues as they arise.  Coaches particularly have expertise in the same field as the people they are helping. They are often trained and certified and they possess strong management skills.

Coaching vs. mentoring

Coaching is more task-oriented and the focus is often on concrete issues like effective management, learning to think strategically, speaking accurately etc. Mentoring, on the other hand, is relationship- oriented. The purpose is to provide a safe environment so that the mentoree shares all issues that are affecting his personal or professional success. The areas that are treated with mentoring include self-confidence, work-life balance, self-perception etc.

Coaching is short-term and its sessions are limited. It is the process of identifying where you stand and where you want to go. There are lots of benefits of business coaching, but here are some summarized:

  • Clarifying and discovering where the client wants to be
  • Promoting self-discovery
  • Provoking solutions and strategies
  • Making sure clients are taking responsibility for themselves
  • Providing support

Coaching, however, is not a quick fix for all the challenges that you are facing and it is not synonymous with counseling or therapy. Learn more about what coaching is and is not here. Mentoring is tailored to suit the individual needs of an entrepreneur. The mentor works with individuals to conduct a business assessment and then define mentoring objectives. A mentor is extremely necessary for a company. Here is how mentoring can help a business:

  • Improves productivity
  • Helps the organization in taking strategic business initiatives
  • Promotes professional growth
  • Helps acquire skills and knowledge relevant to your personal goals
  • Improves leadership and international skills, technical abilities, and communication

How can a company know when it needs coaching or mentoring?

When to consider coaching:

  • When a company has talented employees who aren’t meeting expectations
  • When a company needs to improve the competency of some individual in specific areas
  • When a leader needs help in acquiring new skills

When to consider mentoring:

  • When a company wants to create a workforce to balance professional and personal life
  • When a company wants to develop its individuals as a part of succession planning
  • When a company wants to develop a diverse workplace and remove all barriers that might hinder success

Coaching can be conducted on any topic and there is no design required to implement the coaching program. But when it comes to mentoring, a design phase is necessary since you want to develop a mentoring model to focus on areas that need improvement.