The Difference Between a Professional Life Coach and a Mentor
Life coaching and mentoring are both results-oriented but differ significantly in their approach. Here are two definitions that I've found helpful:
Erickson College defines coaching in the following three ways:
1. Coaching is a new profession that helps people set better goals and reach those goals.
2. Coaching provides tools, structure and support so that people can lead a more fulfilling life according to what is most important to them.
3. Coaching is a partnership.
Although life coaches use many of the same skills as mentors (asking questions, being a sounding board, challenging beliefs and behaviors, cheerleading) the main difference is that a coach is not limited to helping people get ahead at work or in their careers.
Life coaches assist people to achieve goals in all areas of their lives:
:: Health, fitness and wellness
:: The possibilities are endless!
Mentoring programs, on the other hand, are often found in the workplace and provide the following:
A career role-model to emulate
An advocate who will help further your career
Guidance in developing job-related skills
Assistance to develop leadership skills in the workplace
A mentor is a more experienced person who acts as a role model, guide, or cheerleader. For additional information about mentoring and coaching, visit www.mentor.ca