I've been talking A LOT recently about Coaching and Mentoring over on my YouTube channel. I've had some great feedback on my recent videos about these topics, but I've had a few questions from clients recently about 'what's the difference between coaching and mentoring?' So here it is.
Not sure of the difference between mentorship and coaching? But do you suspect you’d get further if you understood the difference - and how each could fast track your career?
Today, we’re talking about the difference between coaching and mentoring.
What is Coaching?
For me, coaching is all about being an outsider who helps people get strategic about their careers.
It’s about asking the right questions, helping clients find their own answers and get clearer on what they want and then helping them brainstorm about what it will take to reach those goals. Simply put, I just want to make sure my clients get there faster and with fewer mistakes. There are more formal definitions of coaching, and if you google ‘coaching definition’ you’ll be welcome to half a million pages. But in the 2500 hours of coaching I’ve done mostly with women who work in male dominated fields - that’s the definition that works best for my clients. It’s also about challenge - as I can help you win the race, but we need to make sure it’s a race worth winning and even competing in.
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is about a person who has a specific skill helping grow someone else’s skills in that area.
Ideally, you’d have both a coach and a mentor - and with the coaching clients I work with - we ensure you get a range of mentors in the very skills you need to build. So for example, we may work on developing your relationships with people who seem to be great at presentations, or have a technical skill you’d to develop or simply have led teams with a style you’d like to emulate. In the programmes run for companies to get more women into senior leadership, we are very careful in the way we pair mentors and mentees as you need to be focused on what the mentee wants to learn - but also how to ensure it also benefits the mentor. That’s the only way the relationship will grow long after the programme is officially finished. But the good news? You don’t need a formal mentoring programme to approach people yourself - more tips of which you can get on our download.
As you can see coaching vs. mentoring roles ARE different, but BOTH vital for getting you the career you want.
I’ve created 5 Mentoring Tips for Beginners that is the best way to introduce mentoring into your day-to-day working life I’ve given this advice to 100s of clients, and it’s the easiest way to start.
I’ve got a whole playlist dedicated to the Benefits of Coaching and Mentoring on my YouTube channel, please have a browse and let me know what you think.
Suzanne Doyle-Morris, Author, Speaker & Gender Balance Expert for 25+ years.
Hear what I told BBC Radio about what to do about the worsening gender pay gap data