The Differences between Coaching and Mentoring

coachingAlthough coaching and mentoring are used interchangeably, both these terms differ on a lot of fronts. As a manager, you need to understand the difference between these terms so that you can mentor and coach your team and take their productivity to greater heights.

Taking a robust coaching course equips you with the necessary skills. When you learn how to coach, your business at large will be the winner.


Mentoring and coaching work with different orientation. Coaching is oriented towards a particular task. It could be bringing an improvement in soft skills in a person or imparting technical knowledge to pass a particular exam. With coaching training, you can prepare your employees to think strategically, and implement plans focused on achieving a goal.

Mentoring, on the other hand, is not focused on a particular task. Mentors focus on building a relationship with mentees, understanding their fears and strengths, and channeling their energies in the right direction, which might or might not be a specific goal. As a mentor, you help your mentees find balance in work and life, build confidence and self esteem, while also acting as a life coach.


Coaching focuses on performance. Usually, once a person acquires the skills and achieves the level of performance that he aimed at, a coach is no longer needed. Mentoring, on the other hand, focuses on development. Training helps you implement ways to build a long-term relationship with the mentee. The focus of mentoring is perpetual growth.


Coaching is suitable when a company needs to equip its employees with specific skills or when a company plans to introduce a new system. Coaching is also provided when managers feel the need to enhance proficiency of employees if they do not work to the best of their abilities. Knowing how to coach can help you reach targets and enhance productivity of the company as a whole.

When it comes to mentoring, it is all about succession planning. A company looking to groom employees for long term goals needs a mentor rather than a coach. Mentoring is also the solution for companies where skill acquisition is not the sole focus of employee development. You can take training programmes to learn mentoring skills.

Mentoring and coaching skills are both necessary for a competent manager. This way, you can analyse the situation and enhance employee potential using the right methods. Learning these skills can increase the value of your management training.

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