The Differences Between Coaching and Mentoring and How They Benefit Your Organization

May 02, 2016
At Insala, before we assist in setting up a mentoring program for our clients we make sure all stakeholders are clear of the definition of what mentoring really is, through our consulting workshop called “M.O.R.E.”. There can be many misperceptions and it can be sometimes confused with coaching. We asked Phillip Roark, CEO at Insala for his definition of coaching and mentoring, the differences and how they can be effectively the can both be used in the workplace.

  • What is Coaching?

    Coaching involves a relationship between a professionally trained coach and a coachee who agree on accomplishing specific career development and performance goals. Coaching can be understood as the coachee receiving specific directions from the coach that will result in a specific career direction they need to achieve. For example, say John the accountant has been selected to be the CFO due to the current CFO leaving under sudden circumstances. John would need to be groomed and fit for the job immediately. This is where a goal driven coach would come in to steer John in the right direction into his new role.
  • What is Mentoring?

    Mentoring involves a partnership between an experienced mentor and a mentee who wants to learn from that experience. Mentoring can be understood as the mentor guiding the mentee on a journey, sharing experiences that the mentee needs in order to further their career. Say John the accountant receives word that the current CFO will be retiring in 2 years’ time and his organization would like to start grooming John to become the next CFO. This is where a mentor from a higher career level (possibly the current CFO) would come in mentor and guide him towards his future career path.
  • Flash Mentoring – The global employee knowledge sharing network
  • What are the differences between coaching and mentoring?

    Mentoring and coaching may sound similar; and in fact they are, to a degree. However, there are a few key differences in these two relationships. Coaching is a short term tool utilized when there is a specific task or action needing completion. Mentoring is more of a long term relationship that is mentee driven to seek a mutual goal set forth from a learning agreement and contract. Coaching is usually a coach driven relationship that has a targeted goal in mind for a specific task. Mentors are usually volunteers; coaches are usually paid. Mentors usually help advanced a person in their career development and business goals; coaches are there to increase productivity and job performance. Coaches are more “what can we fix now to make you a better worker now” mentors are more “How can we set you up for your future career path”.

    Mentoring style is more listening, adapting, and steering in the right direction in the long term relationship. Coaching is more direct; immediate result and appropriate feedback for their short term or “as needed” relationship.
  • Flash Mentoring – The global employee knowledge sharing network
  • Mentoring: Key differentiators

    1) In mentoring, the mentor is guiding the mentee through the field they need information in; and the relationship is mentee driven.
    2) Mentoring can be used by all levels in an organization; it’s a very broad audience to target a wide group.
    3) Mentees often select their own mentor, and do so by choosing a mentor with a background that they feel appropriately suites their needs.
    4) Mentoring is not a full time job for most mentors. (However, we recommend creating a role profile and baseline mentoring training to help mentors understand their roles and what is expected of them.)
    5) Mentors usually belong to the same organization as the menthe.
    6) The costs of mentoring programs are usually lower than coaching programs since the mentor volunteers to support the menthe.

  • Coaching: Key differentiators

    1) The coaching process involves the coach imparting specific skills or know-how to the coachee.
    2) Coaching programs tend to be targeted at career development (Insala link) for leaders or high potentials; carries a smaller audience and is more specifically tailored.
    3) Coaches are usually brought in from outside, are vetted by someone within the organization, and are assigned a few choices of coachees based on what skills the coachees need to develop.
    4) Coaches are professionally trained to be coaches, since coaching is normally their full time job.
    5) Coaches typically do not belong to the same organization as the menthe.
    6) Coaching programs typically cost more than mentoring programs because of the added costs of coaches’ fees.

Both mentoring and coaching serve a specific purpose to an organization; in one way or another. They both impact employee efficiency and profitability and in turn the ROI for the organization. To learn more about coaching, mentoring and talent development, visit Insala.com today.

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