Mentors and coaches serve different purposes. “A coach has some great questions for your answers; a mentor has some great answers for your questions.”
Mentoring involves “helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a longer term career relationship from someone who has ‘done it before’.”
A mentor is often more experienced than the mentee, and tends to be a trusted person that is inspirational for the mentee; someone that can share wisdom, provide support and give general advice. A mentor helps you see the end destination for where you’re headed, without providing a step-by-step guide for how to get to that end point.
Coaching means “helping another person to improve awareness, to set and achieve goals in order to improve a particular behavioural performance.”
Coaching is about helping clients to learn, rather than teaching them. It’s a future-focused approach for goal-oriented people who want to make improvements in themselves or their lives.
A coach doesn’t share their opinion or advice because they’re not experts in clients’ lives, which also means they don’t need to have gone through the same experiences as their client (though that can help build rapport between the coach and client). A coach’s expertise is in knowing the right questions to ask to help the client identify the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, and how to get them moving forwards.
Could you benefit from having a mentor or coach?
All quotes taken from Brefi Group.