Mentoring Vs. Coaching

06.12.13 Simply put, mentoring is helping someone to learn something. But what changes the relationship between the two significantly is when they begin to form a  learning partnership. Today’s competitive organizations need “learning entrepreneurs,” whose common interest is valued over traditional.

“Mentoring magic cannot be a solo performance. It is not a one-way, master-to-novice transaction. To be effective and lasting, it must be accomplished through a two-way relationshipthe synchronized efforts of two people.” ~ Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith, Managers as Mentors, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Third Edition, 2013

Words like “mentor” and “coach” are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is an important difference between the two:

  • Coaching is precisely intended to nurture and sustain what is done on a day to day basis.
  • Mentoring concentrates on learning; its primary outcome should be ability, expertise, proficiency, experience and/or understanding.

What do we need to know about mentoring, and how can this connection be most helpful? How do you know when it’s the right time to locate a mentor? And what’s the best way to start a mentoring relationship?

In the work I do with clients,, you would be surprised at how many assumptions people make in regards to mentoring.


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