Mentor or Coach?

Coach-Mentor

Have you had a big project that you needed help in learning new skills in order to complete a project (target goal) such as for a presentation? You have been assigned a “mentor” to help you, but you know that once the project is over, you will most likely not continue the working relationship? Skills learned, target reached, mission accomplished, and hopefully well! While you have learned much and most likely know each other better and will possibly work on future joint efforts; you and your “coach” have accomplished the task at hand and most likely will return to prior status. Bravo with much appreciation!

Another scenario; you have been in your current position for 2 years, but you are now ready to kick it up a notch and show that you are capable and ready for more responsibility and developing new skills including those in leadership. You have a good professional colleague in your organization who has offered to help you further as you pursue your career goals. Your mutual relationship has been developing very well and you know that this person wants to not only see you do well, but has offered her expertise to help you grow in the direction you are wanting to pursue. You see this relationship has been mutual and has steadily grown over time. You know that your “mentor” has sometimes even seen the potential in you before you have even thought of something as a possibility! You look forward to seeing her and sharing professional information between you. You have become more involved in professional activities and have learned much through shared work. Your mentor has shared valuable information while teaching you the ropes. You in return are sharing what you have learned with your mentor and given valuable feedback. Both of you have grown your professional network and contributed more to your organizations.

While coaches can teach you much valuable information to become more skilled, they tend to be more short-term. Mentors evolve from relationships mutually satisfying and help in personal and professional growth over time. Who is assigned? Mentors or coaches? Which one do you choose? It’s good to know the difference, but to also be appreciative of both.

Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons   c. 2018

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