One of the most common questions I get as a coach is: How is coaching different from mentoring?
I’ve been a mentor, mentee, coach, and coachee. Here are key differences I’ve observed.
- Has special knowledge in your interest area
- Shares their personal experience and expertise
- Listens to your challenges and gives you advice
- Speaks to you in a friendly, conversational tone
- May or may not have experience in your interest area
- Is trained in techniques that bring out your natural potential
- Does not give advice
- Asks powerful questions that guide you to your own solutions
- Speaks to you in a direct but supportive tone
But hey, don’t just listen to me.
Hear how Graphic Recorder & Facilitator, Maggie Miland, describes the difference between coaching and mentoring.
“After having my first coaching experience with Crystal, I see its clear distinction from that of a mentorship. Where a mentor seems to guide the mentee within a single sector, Crystal took a holistic approach and let our conversation take natural turns wherein I involuntarily expressed a need to explore.
Throughout the process I was periodically asked to reflect upon my mood and discovered that I felt lighter and more focused as we neared the end of our session. This was because Crystal had allowed me to figure out the heart of my issue and how it related back to the bigger picture. Due to this chain of events, I was able to connect so many other aspects of my life where I felt uncertain to the issue I considered to be at the forefront of everything.
Where mentorship would have confined me to a single issue and a multitude of outcomes, I found through coaching that my overall perspective actually needed shifting. Seeing these distinctions in the methods of coaching and mentorship, I realize how coaching provides a more long-term solution to problems that arise and instills in me a sense of self-sufficiency in dealing with such issues that I will inevitably face throughout life.”
Maggie Miland is a Graphic Recorder & Facilitator, Creativity Buff, and Mindful Communicator. She is passionate about uncovering potential in others. In both work and life, she believes that 20% innovation + 80% positive attitude = goal reached.
PRO TIP: Discover the difference for yourself!
Depending on each mentor and coach, the experience can be quite different. Ultimately, you are the best judge of what is the right fit for you and your goals. It’s a good idea to explore different mentorship and coaching programs to see which resonates the most. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a good sign when they’re willing to answer your questions!
Want to give coaching a try?
Yes? Cool! I know it can be daunting to commit to a multi-week coaching program. That’s why I always chat with potential coachees first.
First, send me quick message about your issues and/or goals. If coaching might be a fit, we schedule a sample session to test our chemistry. If we both agree it’s a yes, then we discuss scheduling, expectations, and if applicable, how my sliding scale coaching rate works.
Every so often, I also offer special sessions that give you a taste of coaching (i.e. not a 3 month commitment ? ) while still giving you valuable learning and action steps. Sign up for my newsletter to receive these limited time offers.