Business Mentoring Matters

Corporate Coaching vs Corporate Mentoring

Posted on Fri, Sep, 25, 2009

A few people have contacted us regarding our most recent blog post about the differences of coaching and mentoring.  Therefore, I would like to share with you some information we have listed on our website under Resources:

People often confuse coaching and mentoring. Though related, they are not the same. A mentor may coach, but a coach does not mentor. Mentoring is "relational," while coaching is "functional." There are other significant differences.

Coaching characteristics:

  • Managers coach their staff as a required part of the job.
  • Coaching takes place within the confines of a formal manager-employee relationship.
  • The focus is to develop individuals within their current job.
  • The interest of the relationship is functional, arising out of the need for individuals to perform the tasks required to the best of their ability.
  • Managers tend to initiate and drive the relationship.
  • The relationship is finite, ending when an individual has learned what the coach is teaching.


    Mentoring characteristics:
  • It occurs outside of a line manager-employee relationship, at the mutual consent of a mentor and mentoree.
  • It is career-focused or focused on professional development that may be outside a mentoree's area of work.
  • Relationships are personal--a mentor provides both professional and personal support.
  • Relationships may be initiated by mentors or created through matches initiated by the organization.
  • Relationships cross job boundaries.
  • Relationships last for a specific period of time (nine months to a year) in a formal program, at which point the pair may continue in an informal mentoring relationship.

To learn more about starting a mentoring program in your organization, call us at 617-789-4622 or contact us today.

Tags: Mentoring Programs, Mentoring FAQs