What Is Coaching And Mentoring?

Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring

When embarking on a Coaching and Mentoring programme, it is important to understand what will happen during the sessions.

A good place to start, is to understand what these terms mean because as these CPD tools become increasingly popular, then so there are many misconceptions emerging.

Let us start with some simple definitions.

Definition of Coaching:

Coaching is: a tool to help individuals find their own answers to the problems they are facing.

Coaching is about personal development and is reliant on the personal responsibility of the Coachee to take ownership of the solutions.

The Coach does not need to be an expert in a specific field but does need to be an expert in facilitating learning and the self-awareness of the coachee.

In this way the Coach is nondirective.


Is about developing the self-awareness of the coachee and supporting the coachee to identify their own solutions.

Definition of Mentoring:

Mentoring is: the passing on of skills and experience to help an individual solve a specific issue.

A key difference versus coaching is that a Mentor will offer solutions to the Mentee.

In this way the Mentor in more directive.

Like coaching though, a successful mentoring programme still relies on the individual to take a personal responsibility for their development.

The Mentor does need to have plenty of experience of and skills in their field of interest. A Leadership Mentor, for instance should have had many years of successful experience in leading teams.


Is about solutions being proposed to the individual by the Mentor, based on the Mentor’s depth of skills and experience in their chosen field.

Coaching and Mentoring both rely on the individual being committed to their own development.

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