What is the
difference between coaching and mentoring?
In our view, a mentor
has “trod the path." Seeing the qualities that
makes someone successful in a certain field is,
in itself, a valuable part of the learning experience. Mentoring
also focuses on tasks. Coaching is a specific discipline that
uses active listening skills along with performance enhancement
techniques. A good coach will have had
a significant amount of coach-specific training as well as extensive
experience actually coaching people.
is that the coach’s role is to facilitate
their client using active questioning. These questions invite
the client to identify their own approach to solving issues,
whilst the framework of questioning will ensure that the underlying
issues are addressed.
We also believe
that it is necessary for the coach to share stories of their
or the experiences of other clients (names
withheld) to provide alternative ideas. This part of the experience
is more akin to “mentoring.” It is often important
to explain specific business or organisational models, where
the coach is briefly creating bespoke teaching
which is relevant to the issue being discussed.
Sometimes coaching is done on the basis that only questions can ever
be asked. In our view, whilst questioning is the preferred method
of coaching, it is not always appropriate, and part of the role
of a coach is to mentor and teach where required. We believe
that this provides a unique approach to coaching and all our
coaches are trained and supervised with this approach.
It is essential
that this approach is adopted, and that coaching is not the
same as a
chat. It is a different way of communicating:
asking questions without passing judgement or offering advice.