Coaching and Mentoring Stirlingshire
A coach asks the questions and a mentor answers the questions.
I have always have the image of a mentor as being some wise guru who knows all of the answers to every question. While it is true that a good mentor is someone who knows their particular industry, (for example the Armed Forces or medicine) the skills come in facilitating exploring together the situations that may arise, rather than offering all of the answers all of the time.
A coach’s skills lie in asking the (sometimes) difficult questions – it has been suggested there is an element of counselling skill used in coaching. My own belief is people know the answers within themselves; they may not know the questions or may not want to hear the questions. We all have things within ourselves that we may not want to face up to but somehow deep down we also know when the time is right to “let the genie out” and examine a situation with support.
Coaching has a set duration and sessions, whereas mentoring can last a long time and be more informal. Both coaching and mentoring can deal with personal and professional development as well as relationships.