Both mentoring and coaching are techniques used in the development of an employee. They are based on face-to-face discussions to enhance knowledge, skills and work performance of an individual (London & Mone, 2012). In practice, the terms are used interchangeably but they have a distinction.
Coaching focuses on specific issues such as effective management, thinking strategically and articulate speaking. It requires an expert in a specific content. In addition coaching is short term. It only lasts depending with the purpose of the coaching. Coaching is also meant primarily to improve the performance of an employee (London & Mone, 2012). Once the employee acquires the needed skills, the coaching is no longer needed. Another thing with coaching is it does not require a design of implementation. Coaching can be done promptly on any skills or topic.
On the other hand, mentoring focuses on creating a relationship between the mentor and the mentee. Though it can focus on specific goals, it goes beyond to areas such as self-confidence, self-perception and work-life balance. For mentoring to be successful, it requires time for both the partners to develop a relationship. This will enable the mentored to be able to share the real issues (London & Mone, 2012). In addition, mentoring focus on development rather than performance. It develops an employee for both the current job and any other future jobs. It thus requires a design phase to be able determine the specific purpose of mentoring.
When a company introduces a new system, the employees are coached on using the system. This takes a short time. However, when a company is looking to develop the employees for succession purposes, this calls for mentoring since it is development oriented. In school, I was coached on how to play football but was mentored on how to be successful in my education.
London, M., & Mone, E. (2012). Leadership for today and the future (1st ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
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