Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are two disciplines that set trends in today's society since we are living in a historical moment in which there is a greater awareness of the importance of emotional education. These disciplines have something in common: they are two means of help. However, the method is different and it is in that aspect that we focus our attention in this article.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring ? In transkerja.com we answer this question in order to clarify the nuances of both concepts. And what method should you choose in your case? Keep reading this article to discover the answer.

Definition of coaching

Coaching is an accompaniment process. The coach is the one who offers the service and the client is the true protagonist. The question is the method used during the sessions. Powerful and open questions that are intended to drive the client in search of their own answers This power of the question as a tool for dialogue is also present in the philosophy of Socrates to which Plato pays tribute through his mythical Dialogues.

Why is it so important from a coaching point of view that this premise be respected? Because each person can have different points of view around the same story. Points of view that are conditioned by values, previous experience, and subjectivity. For this reason, the best decision is one that the client makes consciously and freely.

The questions raised by the coach have a reason for being: they bring light. That is to say, through these questions, the client initiates a process in which he clarifies important questions in relation to the establishment of goals , which is what motivates the action. And, is that, the true purpose of coaching is the realistic objective. Defining this objective is the first step in the process that may arise for a personal or professional reason.

In any case, there is a vital characteristic in a coaching goal . The fulfillment of this goal, through an action plan that is drawn up in the context of the sessions itself, should depend solely on the protagonist . Otherwise, if a person sets a goal that involves someone else, they run the risk of being frustrated because the will of others transcends individual commitment.

Mentoring: definition and process

Mentoring has a different essence. In this discipline the figure of the life teacher acquires an important meaning . That is, the example of a person who, based on his experience, knowledge and age, can transmit important information in the form of advice to another younger person who wants to nourish himself with that knowledge to apply it to his own life. The mentor is a support figure who acts as a counselor . This philosophy is increasingly present, for example, in entrepreneurship.

Something that never happens in a coaching process since the advice is not part of this methodology in which the coach should not condition the client with his own map of the world. Mentoring takes on real meaning from the perspective of the trust that the mentor inspires in the person he guides.
A mentor is one who, from his position and closeness, encourages others to be the best version of themselves.

Help others to believe in their own dreams. The mentor provides answers . In a way, he is the person who embodies the concept of wisdom and, therefore, shares what he knows. Something not to be confused with having a certain title.

Coaching or mentoring? Differences and conclusions

In essence, coaching and mentoring are two concepts that have many elements in common, however, they differ in the method applied. Both the coach and the mentor are people who stand out for their active listening , trust in the human being and emotional intelligence . Just as the question, which is the method of coaching, is already present in Socrates' philosophy, in the same way, it is also possible to observe in the philosophical framework examples of mentoring. Socrates was Plato's teacher.

How to decide on coaching and mentoring?

Once we have seen the main differences between coaching and mentoring, it is time to decide the process that best suits your needs.

If both disciplines, which differ in method, connect with the purpose of personal help, when to choose one option or the other? Both are experiences that can be complementary . Therefore, doing a coaching process does not rule out the possibility of learning from a mentor.

  • One of the questions that can serve as a guide is that, if you are looking for a purpose that acquires projection in time from the perspective of the future, then you can choose a mentor. On the contrary, if you would like to fulfill a more precise, more concrete and immediate objective, coaching can inspire you to make that change through empowerment.
  • If at this time you would like to have a reference figure close by that you can learn from thanks to their experience and you admire someone in particular who you think can become your mentor, consider this option. Both the purpose of coaching and mentoring is to promote personal growth. Therefore, knowing that this is the end, choose the method with which you feel most comfortable because it connects more with your expectations or your preferences.
  • To make your decision, you can also have a first session with a coach who explains in more depth what the characteristics of the process are and if this idea is the one that best suits your goal. You can also receive this feedback from a mentor . Thanks to this information, you will have more elements to decide.