The Difference Between A Mentor And A Coach

The Difference Between A Mentor And A Coach blog imageIn this post, you’ll learn the difference between a mentor and a coach because quite often, coaching and mentoring gets interchanged a lot. A lot of people think they’re the same thing.

While they’re completely different, there are similarities between coaching and mentoring, and they’re both very important to get you to your goals in life.

They’re both used to nurture a person’s skills. They’re also used to identify obstacles and problem areas which mentors and coaches would then create action plans and help implement them.

But let’s now discuss the difference between coaching and mentoring as well as what might be the best choice for you if you’re looking for a mentor or a coach, or maybe even both.

So, What Is Mentoring?

Middle aged man mentoring someone over the phone imageMentoring is when a person goes to seek out some advice from someone who has the experience and the expertise that they’re looking for.

The mentor you should approach to ask for advice is someone who you respect because of their track record and their accomplishments.

So you’re not likely going to ask advice from someone who you don’t respect or who you don’t think has done a good job in their career.

And a good mentor will also be someone who is open with you, someone who wouldn’t judge you harshly and that they would be willing to even share with you the challenges that they themselves have in some areas.

You would also want a mentor who is actually available when you need them. Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to get much mentoring advice despite their big accomplishments or friendly personality.

So now, let’s talk about coaching.

What Is Coaching?

Cheerful female coach coaching over the phone imageCoaching is great for helping people to adapt and overcome their personal challenges in their own unique way.

It’s more like facilitating awareness or discovery of a problem and making it a two-way, problem-solving joint discussion. So the difference between a mentor and a coach is that coaching is more of a real dialogue instead of just being told to follow me so you’ll achieve what I’ve achieved.

Being a coach is also about being an outsider who helps people get very strategic about their goals. They will help you come up with ideas and cleverly plan about what it’s going to actually take to achieve them.

How To Identify Which One Is Best For You

Mentoring is generally best suited for you if you’re in a situation where you’d like to follow in somebody’s footsteps.

If somebody has paved the way before you and has done something that you would like to learn yourself, then mentoring can be the perfect way to get that tactical, step-by-step advice on how to do what they did.

This is great for things like how to properly do your marketing, how to build your consulting business, or how to succeed as a life coach.

So if somebody else has achieved a goal and you’re looking to have that knowledge to help you do the same, then getting a mentor is for you.

Woman mentoring and coaching someone on the phone imageHowever, the difference between a mentor and a coach is let’s say that you had gone to a mentor, and the mentor gave you some advice on how to handle an issue with your business partner, and the mentor is telling you, “Well, you just need to be more assertive.”, but you find yourself not being able to actually carry out that behaviour of being assertive, then you might want to look at coaching.

That’s because what you’re looking at is not just knowledge that you need to learn how to be more assertive, but you also need to feel and show up differently.

You need to grow from within into these greater capacities to be able to act in a way that comes across as more assertive.

This could also be the same for people who want to become more confident as a public speaker. But how do you actually have more self-confidence? It’s just not a matter of being told that you should be confident when speaking on a platform so you can boost your sales. You’ve got to work on developing that confidence within yourself.

So if you’re looking to feel differently, if you’re looking to adapt and behave differently in any situation, and if there are things that you might have very clear in your mind something you’d like to do but for some reason, you’re not able to do them, then maybe there’s just some personal development that needs to happen there. And coaching is the best way to have that happen.

Life coaches can also customise and tailor coaching sessions to your unique situation where you’re dealing with a challenge that nobody else can really tell you how to fix.

Coaches will help you to find the solution to your problems. The solutions to your problems have got to come from you.

The Difference Between A Mentor And A Coach – In Conclusion

Cheerful senior gray haired mentor supporting young black colleague in office imageWe hope you enjoyed this post and you now know the difference between coaching and mentoring. While they’re completely different, both mentors and coaches can help you get to your goals faster and with fewer mistakes. Ideally, you’d have both a coach and a mentor to accelerate you to a life that you love.

Need a mentor or a coach? Check out our programs here.

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Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show,,, Huffington Post and