FAQ’s About Coaching and Mentoring

What is mentoring?

  • In Greek mythology, Mentor was a close friend of Odysseus and was entrusted by him to provide prudent guidance and counsel to his son Telemachus when Odysseus left Ithaca to fight the Trojans.
  • The goddess Athena often assumed Mentor's form in order to give counsel to those she wished to help.
  • Today Mentor's name is synonymous with being a faithful and wise adviser.

What is coaching?

  • A coach can be described variously as an instructor, trainer, or tutor.
  • Coaches are outcome oriented and agenda driven. They will help you to achieve a specific goal in the shortest possible time and to the highest standard.

What is the difference between mentoring and coaching?

  • The difference is one of degrees. Both coaches and mentors provide guidance. However, while a coach will provide clear direction, a mentor will tend to suggest possibilities and explore alternative pathways with you.
  • Over time an experienced mentor/coach will be able to adopt both styles in working with you.

What are the benefits of coaches and mentors?

  • A coach will help you develop specific skills to achieve specific outcomes.
  • A mentor will help you to develop yourself by sharing your journey with you. Many so called life coaches are effectively mentors.

When is a good time to start?

  • Generally executives engage a mentor when they are going through a period of change (e.g. a promotion, a move into a new industry) and are feeling unsure of themselves (feelings of uncertainty might also creep up on you as you struggle to cope).
  • Executives will engage a coach when they want to acquire a particular skill.
  • The best time to start is before it's too late!

The future might look clear, but what is it built on?