What are the benefits of mentorship vs coaching? Working with a coach (often called a career coach) AND/OR a mentor (including a mentorship program) brings many benefits. First, we’ll cover what coaching is, the definition of coaching, and then the definition of mentoring, mentoring skills and mentorship in the workplace, and how you can start mentoring at work. I’ve helped many women through coaching and mentoring in my career as an executive coach. These tips are from my executive coaching programme for professional women.
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Are you not quite sure of the difference between coaching and mentoring? But perhaps you suspect that you’d get further if you actually understood the difference? And how each could fast-track you for the career you actually want?
Well, if so, tune in to find a very straightforward comparison between coaching and mentoring, and watch until the end to get some top tips to start your own journey along both and, in particular, mentorship.
Mentorship vs Coaching
Today we’re talking about the difference between coaching and mentoring. I’m Dr. Suzanne Doyle-Morris. I’m an executive career coach and I’ve helped thousands of women with my executive coaching program because I focused on mentoring as part of my PhD. So this is an area I know and love and one that benefits all of my clients.
Coaching Is …
So let’s start with, what is coaching exactly? Well, for me coaching is all about being an outsider who helps people get very strategic about their careers. So, for me it’s about asking the right questions. Helping clients find their own answers and get clearer on what they actually want and what it will take to get there. I then help them brainstorm and tactically plan about what it’s going to take to reach those goals and who’ll they’ll need to involve. Simply put, my definition is that I make sure my clients get there faster and with fewer mistakes.
Now, clearly, there are probably many more formal definitions of coaching and if you Google coaching definition, you are gonna be welcome to the more than half a million pages which will give you their own definitions. But if I’m honest, in the two and a half thousand hours of ICF Accredited coaching hours I have done with my women who work in male-dominated fields, that’s the definition that actually works best for not just me, but certainly for them.
So coaching is also about challenge, ’cause let’s be honest, I can help you win the race, but we first need to make sure that it’s a race worth winning or even competing in, in the first place. So, so far my first question to you is, if you could get just one thing out of coaching, what exactly would it be?
Mentorship Is …
Now, mentoring is about a person who has a very specific set of skills, helping grow someone else’s skills in that same area. So ideally, you’d have both a coach and a mentor. And with the coaching clients that I tend to work with, well, we ensure that you get a range of people with those skills, the ones you need to build.
So for example, we may work on developing your relationships with people who are ace at giving presentations, just the way you’d love to be able to do. Or perhaps they have a technical skill that you’d like to develop. Or maybe they lead teams just with a style that you’d really like to emulate. We can find those people with you, in your own networks. Maybe people you haven’t even thought of yet.
And in the programs that I run for companies where we focus solely on getting more women into senior leadership positions, we are very careful about the way we pair mentors and mentees. Because you need to be really focused on making sure that the mentee gets exactly what they need to learn. But you can’t also forget to make sure that it benefits the mentor as well. Because frankly, that is really the only way the relationship is going to grow long after the program has officially finished.
And the good news, if you’re working with me, you certainly don’t need a formal mentoring program to approach people yourself. Now you can get more tips on how to do that yourself with our download, “How To Find a Mentor in Five Simple Steps.“
What’s the Verdict?
So, as you can see, coaching and mentoring are completely different, but both very vital to getting you the career you want. So, my next question, are you ready to try to find a mentor yourself? If you are, just get our download.
If you think you would benefit from mentoring, be sure to watch my “Mentorship in the Workplace” videos, other parts of the series to help you learn how to do that, that much more effectively, because that’s what it’s going to take.
In the meantime, remember: no one cares about your career as much as you do.