Coaching content from The Intentional Marketer

Coach or Mentor. What’s the difference? And which one do I need?

We’ve all heard the terms “Coach” and “Mentor” used whether it be in our corporate jobs, or on social media, articles and general media sites.

Coaching has become so popular – there are coaches for everything! And I mean everything – there is even a ‘raw food coach’. There are coaches for fitness, weight loss, careers, college success, sports, business, personal/life, executive and the list goes on and on and on…Coaches are everywhere! 

Mentoring, on the other hand, is a term more often used in business and often tied to entrepreneurs who label their ‘mentors’ as people who know all the right people and help them propel their business to the next level. It is all in their connections. This is a very shallow definition of a mentor.

SO WHAT IS THE difference between a coach and a mentor?

Coaching is a form of development in which the coach supports a client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance. 1 The coaching relationship has a finite duration, and the focus is on improving in a specific area or achieving a specific goal.

Mentoring (or Mentorship) is where a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person in a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn. 2 It is a longer term relationship with a focus on the growth and development of the mentee.

So in a nutshell: 

A coach will provide you with the ‘how-to’ advise, resources and tools to achieve a specific task or goal.

A mentor will be your cheerleader and encourage you with your long-term growth and development in mind.

Take a look at the chart below. What do you need more? One on one hand holding and direction to achieve a specific goal? Or more cheerleading and encouragement for the long term?

Coach Mentor
One on one
Teach skills/capabilities
Client in charge of their learning
Single goal or task focused
Long-term development driven

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Read more about my coaching and mentoring services.