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?