Many people consider “coaching” and mentoring interchangeable and therefore don’t see any difference. However, if you look closely, you will know that they have distinct roles.
To cite Oxford English Dictionary;
Coaching: As a coach or trainer, you teach and supervise others.
Mentoring: You can be a trusted counselor or teacher.
Although the differences may not be evident at first glance, the descriptions of the roles will point in different directions. Although the dictionary definitions of these words may differ, the fact is that they refer to two other practices. This distinction was evident for a long time. ‘Coaching’ was restricted to sports activities, whereas’mentoring’ was limited to career-related guidance. With the advancement of technology, these boundaries began to dissolve, and people began to use these terms interchangeably.
Coaching and mentoring: Defined
When does coaching become necessary? You have a clearly defined goal. You need to improve your natural abilities through hard work, practice sessions, expert tips, and performance reviews. A coach with sufficient experience in training others like you is needed to help you achieve the same goals.
However, mentorship is more appropriate for providing general advice and career planning as well as problem-solving.
These two roles may be different, but the skills and methods are often the same. They include effective communication between the coach/mentor, the ward/trainee, and both of them, excellent rapport, good observation, regular feedback sessions, and keen powers to observe. These roles provide timely guidance and practical solutions to problems.
Let’s look at the similarities in coaching and mentoring.
* Regular contact with the person concerned is necessary to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
* Develop strategies and plans that suit your individual style and needs.
* Concentrate more on practical solutions than theoretical ones.
* Continuous feedback is needed to assess the progress and pinpoint areas that need further attention.
* Keep communication open so that trainees/wards can reach you with any issues.
It has been seen that sometimes coaches mentor their wards and vice versa in many cases. It is crucial to clearly define the services offered at the beginning.
Which is better: mentoring or coaching?
Once you’ve identified the need for professional help or an expert opinion on a topic, you can decide whether coaching or mentoring is right for you.
If you are looking for someone to help you improve your skills, a coach is the best choice. A coach is usually a professional who may have multiple trainees depending on his expertise. You will need to determine if the coach has enough time.
If you need general guidance in selecting the right career path or to help you make decisions or set goals, a mentor is a good choice. Mentors don’t have to be professionals or elderly. Your mentor can be any of your family members or friends, depending on what you need.
Individuals should embrace all opportunities to grow and develop as individuals. Both mentoring and coaching are excellent options for this purpose.