The Personal Coach vs The Mentor: How do They Differ?

Is there a difference between the personal coach and the mentor? Indeed! There are noticeable differences between the two roles. Coaching and mentoring are often used interchangeably because both professionals help clients reach desired personal and professional goals. However, the definition, role, approach, and tools of each are utterly different.

The Personal Coach vs The Mentor: How do They Differ?
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What Does The Personal Coach do?

The personal coach, also often referred to as a life coach is an individual who works with clients to assist them in attaining their desired goals. Personal coaches are professionals that possess the expertise and skills to work with clients one on one; to identify specific goals, strengths and direct them in living a more productive life. The purpose of working with a personal coach is to help clients get unstuck, guide them into undertaking effective actions and eventually maximizing their potential.

Who is a Mentor?

A Mentor is typically an experienced individual; can be a role model and trusted adviser who guides their mentees (clients) all through their careers. He or she shares knowledge, experience, and advice with clients.

What Are The Differences Between The Coach & The Mentor?

Both personal coaching and mentoring are processes that enable both private and corporate clients to achieve their maximum potential. However, there are key differences between the two roles. Here are four differences between coaching and mentoring:

1. Personal coaching is task oriented – The focus is on helping your clients become more proficient in certain areas; managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, and learning how to think strategically.

Mentoring is relationship oriented – It seeks to provide a safe space where the client shares whatever issues affect his or her professional and personal success. A mentor offers practical guidance beyond skills and expertise. The mentor works with clients on issues centered around work/life balance, boosting confidence, improving self-image, and mindsets.

2. Personal coaching is short term – A coach can successfully be involved with a client for a brief period. The coaching relationship lasts for as long as is needed, depending on the purpose of the relationship.

Mentoring is interminably long term – Mentoring requires time and effort from both parties for building a strong relationship. Successful mentoring requires a significant time commitment and the relationship typically last anywhere from six months to a year.

3. Personal coaching is performance driven – The focus is on the present to improve your client’s optimal performance on the job or desired tasks. This involves either enhancing current skills or acquiring new ones. Once the client (coachee) successfully obtains the skills, your coaching services are no longer needed.

Mentoring is development driven – The focus is on the future; working with clients to enhance personal and professional growth. The mentor pretty much helps in confidence building, improving self-image and other areas where the client (mentee) needs help.

4. Personal coaching does not require design – Coaching can be conducted almost immediately depending on the skills and training of the coach. Large groups may require a certain amount of configuration to determine the expertise and assessment tools required. However smaller groups can start coaching sessions right away.

Mentoring requires a design – It requires a phase to determine the critical areas of the relationship; the specific mentoring models and the particular components that will guide the relationship, especially the matching process.

Some coaches in the field provide their clients with both coaching and mentoring services. The personal coach and mentor both play an essential role in today’s workplace and in the personal lives of their clients. Depending on the situation, one may be preferred over the other. Regardless of the services you provide in your practice or business, the most fundamental thing you can do for your clients is to identify their specific needs in order to render the appropriate service to enable them to accomplish their desired goals.

By the way… you’re invited to claim your FREE step-by-step “Master Coach Blueprint” video toolkit. Just go HERE now to get your master coach blueprint videos.

Peggy Adegoke
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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