Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching

Mentoring vs Coaching


Mentoring and Coaching are two terms that are often confused due to the similar sense they might impart. Actually they are different in their sense. Mentoring is influencing somebody by virtue of one’s manners and expertise. Coaching is teaching somebody by virtue of one’s own experience. This is the most important difference between mentoring and coaching.

Mentoring involves the influence of a person in terms of his character and knowledge on the life of another person. A person ‘A’ would call another person ‘B’ as his or her mentor by virtue of the learning, knowledge and expertise of ‘B’. On the other hand a person ‘A’ becomes the coach of another person ‘B’ when he teaches the nuances of an art or science to ‘B’.

It is interesting to note that a mentor need not be a coach. In the same way a coach may or may not be a mentor. For example an upcoming sportsman may have a mentor in a person who may belong to his own family or outside his family. He can still have a coach outside his family when it comes to learning the art or sport from somebody. This is one of the main differences between mentoring and coaching.

It is important to know that mentoring can be done away from the vision of a particular person. It only shows the power of mentoring. Mentoring need not be done within the range of the vision of a particular person. On the other hand coaching has to be done well in the presence of the person who is being coached. It cannot generally be done outside the range of the vision of the person. This is also an interesting difference between mentoring and coaching.

Another chief difference between mentoring and coaching is that mentoring is permanent whereas coaching is not permanent and it can even change at times. In other words it can be said that a mentor remains the same person throughout the life of a person, a sportsperson or a politician. On the other hand a sportsman can get coached or trained in the beginning of his life from a different coach and change the coach later on depending upon the levels of his achievement.

Coaching is normally given to teams as well such as sporting teams. The coach will remain with the team generally and would also do well to travel with the team. On the other hand each and every member of the team can have a separate mentor.