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, but in actuality there is a difference between the two words. First let us define the two words. Mentoring is influencing somebody by virtue of one’s manners and expertise. On the other hand, Coaching is teaching somebody by virtue of one’s experience. This is the main difference between the two words. Through this article let us examine the difference between the two words.

What is Mentoring?

As mentioned above, mentoring is influencing somebody by virtue of one’s manners and expertise. 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.’

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. Mentoring is permanent. A mentor remains the same person throughout the life of a person, a sportsperson or a politician. Now let us move on to the next word coaching  so that the difference between mentoring and coaching becomes clear.

Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching

What is Coaching?

Coaching is teaching somebody by virtue of one’s experience. A person ‘A’ becomes the coach of another person ‘B’ when he teaches the nuances of an art or science to ‘B’. Coaching has to be done well in the presence of the person who is being coached. It cannot be done outside the range of the vision of the person. In mentoring this is not the case. Hence, this can be considered an interesting difference between mentoring and coaching.

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 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.

Another chief difference between mentoring and coaching is that although mentoring is permanent coaching is not permanent, and it can even change at times. 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. This clearly highlights that mentoring and coaching are different from one another. Now let us summarize the difference.

Mentoring vs Coaching

What is the Difference Between Mentoring and Coaching?

Definitions of Mentoring and Coaching:

Mentoring: Mentoring is influencing somebody by virtue of one’s manners and expertise.

Coaching: Coaching is teaching somebody by virtue of one’s experience.

Characteristics of Mentoring and Coaching:

Nature:

Mentoring:  Mentoring involves the influence of a person in terms of his character and knowledge on the life of another person.

Coaching: Coaching involves teaching the nuances of an art or science to someone.

Permanency:

Mentoring: Mentoring is permanent.

Coaching: Coaching is not permanent.

Individual:

Mentoring: Each and every member of the team can have a separate mentor.

Coaching: Coaching is normally given to teams as well such as sporting teams.

 

 

Image Courtesy:

1. US Navy 100511-N-2304O-064 Lt. Cmdr. Thecly Scott advises Lt. j.g. Michele Guagliardo during a speed mentoring event in the Terrace Dining Room of Naval Hospital Bremerton By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charlemagne Obana [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2. “Oleg Starinskyi coaching kids during AC Milan junior camp in Kyiv” by Oleg Starinskyi coaching kids during AC Milan junior camp in Kyiv.jpg – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons