Coaching and Mentoring – the difference

Coaching and Mentoring – the difference

Coaching and Mentoring – the difference. Simply put coaching and mentoring use the same skills and approach… but coaching is short-term task-based, mentoring is a longer-term broad-based.

The difference can be summarized as follows:

  • Mentoring – ongoing relationship that can last for a long period of time.
  • Coaching – has a set time duration.
  • Mentoring – more informal and meetings take place when the mentee needs some advice, guidance or support.
  • Coaching – more structured and meetings are scheduled on a regular basis
  • Mentoring – long-term and take a holistic view of the person’s life and business.
  • Coaching – short-term and focused on specific development areas/issues.
  • Mentoring – Mentor is more experienced, generally older and more qualified than the mentee. Mentor passes on knowledge, experience and may open doors to otherwise out-of-reach opportunities for the mentee.
  • Coaching – the coach does not need to have direct experience of their client’s formal occupational role unless the coaching is specific and skills-focused.
  • Mentor – focus is on broad career and personal development.
  • Coaching – generally specific to improving the performance or expanding opportunities.
  • Mentor – agenda is set by the mentee.
  • Coaching – agenda is set by the coach.
  • Mentoring resolves more around developing the mentee’s larger view on work and life.
  • Coaching revolves more around specific development areas.
  • Mentor – helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a long-term relationship with someone who has done it before.

Note: Coaching and Mentoring are not Counselling. Counselling is a more intervention focused on helping an individual address underlying psychological problems. Counselling is a broader focus and greater depth. Counselling is to help people understand the root causes of long-standing performance problems/issues in their life. Counseling seeks to resolve underlying psychological problems.


To learn more about IDEAS INSTITUTE GEORGIA’S coaching and mentoring schedule an informal free initial meeting email Steven Monahan at Director@IdeasInstituteGeorgia.org