Mentoring and coaching are often used interchangeably in a business context. Though they share the same goal, namely personal development, there is a big difference between a mentor and a coach.
Sir John Whitmore: “Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” Coaches have a strong belief in individuals learning things for themselves, in their own way, and that it is the coach’s role to facilitate the individual’s potential to do so.
Andrew Pollard defines mentoring as ‘Mentoring is a means of providing support, challenge and extension of the learning of one person through the guidance of another who is more skilled, knowledgeable and experienced, particularly in relation to the context in which the learning is taking place.’ in his book Reflective Teaching. And he explains further: “Mentoring has its origins in the concept of apprenticeship, where an older, more experienced individual passed down his knowledge of how the task was done and how to operate in the commercial world.”
Inge touches on the added value of a mentor and gives tips to leaders
It is clear that mentoring and coaching are two development techniques that often overlap but are not to be confused.
The combination of coaching and mentoring is extremely beneficial for the professional and career growth of employees. When organizations encourage formal mentoring and coaching activities, it sends a strong positive message of commitment to a longer-term engagement.
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