Coaching Vs. Mentoring

Coaching Vs. Mentoring? How to choose the right path for your personal growth

Bit Famous works with businesses and organisations
to help them communicate with confidence.

By Penny Haslam

MD and Founder - Bit Famous

Penny Haslam

Coaching Vs. Mentoring. Coaching and mentoring are two similar but distinct approaches to professional development. While both involve a relationship with a more experienced individual, they have different goals, methods, and outcomes. 

Bit Famous offers coaching for leaders and those on their journey into leadership. In particular, we specialise in executive presence, visibility coaching, presentation skills and confidence coaching. Our coaching is directional (we guide you rather than expecting you to find all the answers!) We don't currently offer mentoring.

Here are some of the main differences between coaching and mentoring:

  1. Goal: Coaching is typically focused on achieving specific, short-term goals, such as improving performance or developing a particular skill. Mentoring, on the other hand, is more focused on long-term career development, including career planning, skill-building, and networking.
  2. Approach: Coaching tends to be more directive and structured, with the coach providing specific feedback, guidance, and advice on how to achieve the desired outcome. Mentoring, on the other hand, tends to be more open-ended and collaborative, with the mentor providing guidance and support but allowing the mentee to take more ownership of their own development.
  3. Timeframe: Coaching tends to be time-limited, with specific goals and a start and end date for the coaching relationship. Mentoring is often more long-term and ongoing, with the mentor providing support and guidance over a period of months or even years.
  4. Focus: Coaching is often focused on a specific task or skill, while mentoring is more focused on the overall development of the mentee, including their personal and professional growth.
  5. Relationship: The coaching relationship is typically more formal and structured, with specific goals and objectives agreed upon in advance. The mentoring relationship is often more informal, with a focus on building a strong, supportive relationship between the mentor and mentee.

How does coaching work?

Coaching is a versatile tool that can help you achieve your goals, whether you're looking to improve your career, tackle a business challenge, or develop new skills. Read the guide: How does coaching work?

How does coaching work

How to find a mentor

Finding a mentor can be a challenge, but there are several places where you can start looking:

  1. Professional associations and networks: Many professional organisations have mentoring programs or can connect you with a mentor in your field. Consider joining a professional association or network and reaching out to members who may be able to offer guidance and support.
  2. Workplace: Your employer may have a formal mentoring program or may be able to connect you with a more experienced colleague who can offer guidance and support.
  3. Online mentoring platforms: Several online platforms connect mentees with mentors in a variety of fields, such as LinkedIn, MentorCloud, and SCORE.
  4. Personal networks: Consider reaching out to friends, family members, or other contacts who may be able to connect you with a potential mentor.
  5. Volunteer organisations: Consider volunteering with an organisation in your field of interest, as this can provide opportunities to meet and work with more experienced professionals who may be willing to offer guidance and support.

Remember that finding a mentor may take time and effort, and it is important to approach potential mentors with respect and a clear idea of what you hope to gain from the mentoring relationship. Be prepared to communicate your goals and be open to feedback and guidance from your mentor.