Published April 2, 2024

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

What Are The Differences Between Coaching And Mentoring

Often individuals confuse mentoring with coaching. While these terms require closely related skills and are aimed towards the growth of an individual, they both have different structural forms and results. Per the description from the International Coaching Federation, the coaching process involves collaborating with people in an interesting and creative way which motivates them to boost their individual and professional capacity.

A mentor on the other hand, can simply be described as an experienced counsellor. Based on the business dictionary, mentoring can be described as a system where an experienced person functioning as a counsellor, offers guidance to a younger person. 

Although both terms are dissimilar, the benefits of coaching and mentoring for the individual are quite complementary. To better understand this difference, an analogy of both terms is necessary.

Analogy of Coaching and Mentoring 

A brief review on how both terms are structured will assist us further in understanding the difference between coaching and mentoring. Some of these structural forms can be seen below.


A typical professional coaching association usually lasts for a brief period, mostly within six to twelve months. If the objective requires a longer period, then the time frame can be extended.A typical mentoring association however, is often long term, ranging from a minimum of twelve months to many years.


The aim of professional coaching is towards improving individual career performance, while that of mentoring is mostly developmentally driven.


Professional coaching is structured with frequent meeting schedules, which might be weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly.Mentoring meetings are informal, and are not limited to schedules.


Professional coaches are employed based on their experience and expertise, they are paid to improve certain areas of an individual’s professional life.However, a mentor is not paid. They are mostly experienced staff members or people we look up to. A student draws inspiration from the experiences and work pattern of a mentor, sometimes even learning hard skills from them.

Why You Should Have a Mentor in Your Career 

The benefits of coaching and mentoring in performance management can never be overemphasized. These two categories can help you achieve the career goals you have set for yourself.

A mentor offers valuable counsel according to their own experiences. They offer guidance through your most difficult career goals, on many occasions, mentors have been reported to offer shortcuts that help in the progress of their mentees.

Having a mentor offers an opportunity to expand your network, source and meet the right set of people to help you with achieving your objectives.Through the development of soft skills, networking, and so on, a mentor prepares you to be just as successful as he/she is in business or otherwise.

Why Small Business Coaching is Necessary 

For every enterprise, especially small businesses, professional coaching is highly important to achieve a sustainable and successful enterprise. The positive impacts on business of this type of coaching can move a company from ground zero to the highest level in the sector. 

Professional coaching is a developmental form that utilizes virtual and physical tools to improve the professional performance of an individual. People who offer these services are often employed either personally by those in need of their services or by a company for its employees. 

By validating, supporting, and empowering executives, and employees within an organization, a professional coach provides a healthy environment to properly manage professional problems which may arise in the business.

Through expert coaching, individuals boost their talents and learn new skills, thus actively engaging in the affairs of the company they work for. Due to the fact that professional coaches align personal goals with business and professional objectives, an individual can clearly understand his vision and work effectively towards achieving that.

A company with an executive who lacks leadership skills is doomed for failure. A professional coach steps in to guide an executive in the effective discharge of his duties, this way promoting effective teamwork within an organization.


Various online coaching platforms such as Coachello offer integrated coaching services which allow their clients to scale and democratize coaching within their organizations without any log-ins or downloads for their workers. Their objective is to offer the benefits of coaching and mentoring by establishing a coaching culture, where every person in the business world can overcome their personal and professional challenges.