What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?
And what you need to know before hiring someone to help you achieve whatever you want to work on….
It is not uncommon in today's world, that when you feel stuck or you seem not to find a way out of the problem (either it is work related, relationship related or health related), you tend to seek advice.
In the past, it was usual that we used to have long chats with our best friends, or one of the parents, or anyone who was close to us and we felt trust and connection to that person.
The feeling of reassurance, the friendly tap on the shoulder or a hug when we didn't feel well, depleted or sad, was always very helpful and it seemed to give us hope and a feeling of belonging.
I remember very well those times when I couldn't wait to have my girl talks with my bestie and we would spend hours talking and talking, sharing our dreams, troubles, worries and hopes.
And it is so natural for us, humans to create and nurture such relationships. It is something that helps us get up in our darkest moments.
However sometimes there are moments in life, when even our friends, family or closest circle of peers are not able to help.
Maybe you don't want to share the darkest periods of your life, maybe you know that your friend doesn't have answers on everything and maybe sometimes they have enough problems on their own to be able to carry yours too.
And exactly in those moments coaching or mentoring comes in so you don't stay in your unresourceful state for too long. You know that resourcefulness is our birthright, it is the state we all have at our disposal, only every now and then we need a reminder to get back there.
So how to know what is the best for me and what to choose?
Coaching is solely focused on you while helping you discover and utilise your most productive capabilities, strategies, values, and gifts that are already at your disposal but which you are not using to your fullest potential. A coach helps you navigate through challenges and by asking you thought-provoking questions he/she will offer you various possibilities on how to access your inner wisdom.
The coach offers techniques and encourages you to find your own solutions that already lie within you.
The principle of coaching stems from the idea that you are always capable of the best possible outcome and performance and in any challenging situations.
Also important to note, when coaching clients, I always assume that emotions are natural and I'm not looking to suppress them, but rather look to find purpose and intention behind them.
In my coaching practice I absolutely believe that you can always succeed and achieve your outcome and if I don't believe it, I would always recommend you to someone else.
The most important coaching tools you would come across is responsibility, accountability, commitment and clarity on what is a desired goal or outcome.
In coaching you will rarely get any advice on how to do things, but rather empower you to discover and understand your own abilities.
While Coaching is performance driven, Mentoring focuses on providing you wise advice gathered through experience and knowledge when you ask for such insight. Mentors are like a library full of knowledge and wisdom, as they have gained their expertise in the particular areas of their life and share it with you. Mentors will show you the best direction, provide the knowledge and become your “guide” in the area of expertise. Mentors will provide you with feedback based on the agenda created by the mentee. Mentor is very common in large organisations where he/she works alongside you on achieving your career goals.
When deciding whether to work with a coach or a mentor, ask yourself what is the desired outcome you strive for and if you are willing to put extra effort into achieving it. Another important factor is trust - make sure that you choose a person you will feel comfortable with as you will spend a lot of time together and the more you open up to the coach and mentor, the more they will be able to help you. They will keep you motivated, more aligned, and focused on the outcome so that you can stay on track. And that would be more difficult if doing it on your own, wouldn't it?
Whoever you are going to choose to accompany you on your life journey, choose with an open heart and open mind and always follow your intuition.