What is the difference between coaching and mentoring? 

At a glance, it isn’t necessarily easy to identify the difference between coaching and mentoring. They do after all have quite a few things in common. Both are a means of aiding an individual to grow, develop and achieve their goals but the main difference is in the approach.


A mentor agrees to take somebody “under their wing” so the mentee can learn from their experience, knowledge and thinking. They are completely free to provide advice to those they are working with and a mentor can even be a relative, close friend or partner if that’s what the mentee feels comfortable with.  In a way mentors lead the path and can open doors through passing on knowledge, opinions and contacts.


To be successful as a coach requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the coaching process (preferably a qualification in coaching too!). To be an effective relationship the coach will rarely ever be a close friend or relative as coaches should be impartial and non-judgemental. It is obviously incredibly hard to achieve this if you are personally connected to a client.

With coaching, you do not need to have prior experience of your client’s goals and focus areas they bring to you. You also do not offer your advice in any way, shape or form. 

A coach works with clients around their desire to move forward in their lives. They aid the client to uncover their own answers and path using their internal resources.

It’s an empowering process where the coach opens a client up to the realization that they truly can, be, do or have anything.

Share This