Countless Coach titles
In coaching and mentoring, there are countless titles and concepts and we will sort them out here. We will look at what coaching and mentoring have in common and what distinguishes them. We will also look at when it is appropriate to use them and what questions to ask yourself when in doubt.
The concepts of mentor and coach are found a bit everywhere nowadays and there are many different titles. Internal mentor, external mentor, professional mentor, informal mentor, business coach, life coach, sports coach, head coach, career coach and so on. There are also some coaching titles where the coach acts more as an advisory expert rather than a legitimate coach. This includes, for example, dog coach, sales coach and health coach. It can be a little confusing that these are called coaches when they really are not.
So what does a coach actually do? And what does a mentor do?
Below you will find a brief description of them both. But there are no direct fixed boundaries between the two according to EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council), as they have more similarities than differences and there is no clear definition of them both. However, there are some differences that we can discern.
What is mentorship?
The word mentor has its origins in ancient Greece in the story of Odysseus. When Odysseus left in the Trojan War, he asked his good friend Mentor to "take care of my son and teach him everything you know." The goddess Athena, however, took the form of Mentor and she was the one who supervised the son in Odysseus' absence. It is after this story that the word mentor has come to mean a reliable teacher or counselor.
Depending on whether you live in Europe or the USA, there are different views on mentorship. In the United States, "sponsorship mentorship" is common. This means that the mentor provides career advice and introduces the trainee into his or her own network. "Developmental mentoring", according to Professor David Clutterbuck, aims to develop the adept and the role of mentor has a much broader meaning. It is this type of mentorship that is common in Europe, especially in the Nordic countries.
What is coaching?
Coaching is not just about getting someone to set a goal. As with mentorship, coaching focuses on learning and development during the process. Achieving a learning process is very important in both cases.
It is common for a person looking for a coach not to know what they really want, which of course makes it difficult to set a goal right away. Setting a goal is exactly what you need the coach's help with.
Author and former racing driver John Whitmore gave an appropriate definition of coaching: “Coaching is unleashing a person's potential to maximize their performance. It is to help them learn, rather than to teach them ”.
Potential, learning and action are thus the key words.
What do coaching and mentoring have in common?
Helping individuals develop and reach their full potential is something that is shared by both mentorship and coaching. Likewise, both mean that you must ask the right questions and be able to listen to what is being said.
In both mentorship and coaching, one strives to make lasting changes by helping the client explore the needs, desires, motivation, thought processes and the available abilities. This is done by the coach or mentor asking specific questions that make it easier to find action plans and solutions based on the client's thoughts and ideas.
Both methods use to observe, listen and ask questions to understand the client's situation, what changes need to be made and the steps that need to be taken to get there. At the same time, the client is supported so that he can continuously improve his skills and the client is also encouraged to personal development and action. The result of the process is analyzed and checks whether the set goals have been achieved.
According to several studies, both mentoring and coaching is the main form of competence development, but there must be the right conditions.
So what is the difference between the methods?
Mentoring is an effort that often extends over a couple of years, while coaching is mostly a limited and shorter effort, about 3 to 6 months.
Another difference is that the mentor can have a broader perspective and holistic view than the coach, who mostly focuses on a specific area. The mentor can work on clarifying the organization's internal games and networks. In order to create trust, it is required that the mentor has knowledge of, for example, organizations and leadership if he or she is to act as a mentor for a leader.
Things to keep in mind when finding a mentor or coach:
What needs do you have?
What is your purpose and goal in asking for help?
What do you want to talk about?
What do you want to learn?
What requirements do you have for the mentor / coach? Age, education, experience, background and so on.
How much time can and do you want to spend on meetings and conversations?
Tell the mentor / coach during the first meeting what your expectations are and make sure that it matches the mentor / coach's expectations.
Ask questions regarding ethical issues and confidentiality.
Ask questions about the approach and structure of the conversations / program.
Make an agreement where the purpose, goal and responsibility are clearly described.
Submit a request for interest when you are interested in hiring a mentor coach or if you are applying for a mentor coach education.
Synonyms for mentor
- supervisor, counselor, educator, teacher, teacher, guru