Coaching and mentoring use the same skills and approach but coaching is short term task-based and mentoring is a longer-term relationship.
What is coaching?
Coaching: helping another person to improve awareness, to set and achieve goals in order to improve a particular behavioural performance.
It consists of one-to-one developmental discussions. It provides people with feedback on both their strengths and weaknesses. It is aimed at specific issues/areas. It is a relatively short-term activity.
It is essentially a non-directive form of development. It focuses on improving performance and developing/enhancing individual’s skills. It is used to address a wide range of issues. Coaching activities have both organisational and individual goals. It is time-bounded. It is a skilled activity Personal issues may be discussed but the emphasis is on performance on work.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring: helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a longer term career relationship from someone who has ‘done it.
Mentoring is a long-standing form of training, learning and development and an increasingly popular tool for supporting personal development.
Traditionally, mentoring is the long term passing on of support, guidance and advice. In the workplace it has tended to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague uses their greater knowledge and understanding of the work or workplace to support the development of a more junior or inexperienced member of staff.
Mentoring is used specifically and separately as a form of long term tailored development for the individual, which brings benefits to the organisation. The characteristics of mentoring are:
It is essentially a supportive form of development.
It focuses on helping an individual manage their career and improve skills.
Personal issues can be discussed more productively unlike in coaching