I know coaching is all about the client potential and not being directive or giving solutions, but how does it different than mentoring?

  • 2
    What did you find in dictionary searches? (They are up to you, not us...)
    – GEdgar
    Sep 10 '13 at 18:23
  • Mentoring sounds more temporary and informal. Coaching sounds more formal, ongoing, maybe paid. The comment above mine is closer to mentoring than coaching.
    – dcaswell
    Sep 10 '13 at 18:37

Difference between Coaching and mentoring can be explained into few simple points :

1) Coaching is based on task, mentoring is based on relationship.

2) Coaching is short term, mentoring is long term.

3) Coaching is focused on performance, mentoring is focused on development.

4) Coaching can be given immediately without any well-framed structure while mentoring needs a well planned structure.

5) Coaching is given to employees when they fail to achieve the standards. Mentoring is to develop additional skills in employees.

6) Coaching is for a small group of individuals who are in need of increased competency in specific areas. Mentoring is to retain the expertise of the employees into certain fields.

  • What are your sources of information please?
    – Kris
    Sep 11 '13 at 7:32
  • @ Kris : I have written on my own
    – Sweet72
    Sep 11 '13 at 14:51
  • So sweet. But no, don't. Unless you are an authority on the subject -- opinions are off-topic.
    – Kris
    Sep 12 '13 at 5:21

I want to do this without looking at the dictionary to give a fresh look at the words - how I hear them and view them.

Mentoring - A personal relationship. A relationship where one person is seeking advice from another (the mentor). I would also believe this to be a one on one setting or at the very least a small group.

Coaching - Can be personal or team orientated. Where the coach is actively designing a plan and giving advice for someone to succeed at a task.


  1. Coaching can imply larger groups.
  2. Coaching has more of a connotation that the coach will be more proactive or even pushing the participants to the goal.
  3. In the way my region uses mentoring, the mentor would not usually give advice (unless there were extreme circumstances) unless asked.
  4. Coaching would be used in sports more often and mentoring for social or work related contexts - although these can flip-flop.
  5. Often mentoring would be used to give significance to a task. For instance at my company a 1st level support desk person may have their calls listened to by a "call coach". At same company a sales rep may undergo mentoring - calls are listened to by an "expert".

Sometimes the words are used in conjunction with one another. For instance a soccer player may have a coach - which is formal. The soccer player may have a former player that gives advice and helps with certain skills - a mentor, which is more informal.

  • 1
    Mentoring also often involves modeling of the mentor by the protege.
    – bib
    Sep 10 '13 at 20:10

Mentoring is about teaching,

Coaching is about inspiring, planning, executing

  • Mentoring also can entail inspiring, and helping with planning etc. Sep 11 '13 at 5:43
  • But the end goal for mentoring is learning, where the end goal for coaching is to guide someone towards achieving something and not just obtaining a new skill. In the process if achieving a goal through coaching, the one being coached can gain some skills, but if that person does not achieve what was sought then the "coach" has failed. Sep 11 '13 at 17:52
  • One seeking to loose 40 lbs, may learn weight-loss techniques from a coach. If the one seeking the weight-loss fails while working under a coach, then that coach has failed. In mentoring about weight-loss, if someone learns how to loose weight, the mentor has been successful whether the pupil looses the weight or not. Sep 11 '13 at 17:56

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