Difference Between Coaching and Mentoring (With Table)

In this day and
age, there are huge influxes of people who are claiming them as Mentors or
Coaches. But do we know what really is a Mentor or a Coach?

What most of us
do is associate coaching and mentoring as the same but that is wrong. The difference
between Coaching and Mentoring is quite significant.

Coaching vs Mentoring

The main difference between Coaching and Mentoring is that coaching means to supervise someone and to improve their capability and knowledge. Mentoring means to advise, guide, and support a junior or a fresher. Coaching is the responsibility of the coach to make an individual do well, whereas mentoring is a relationship where the mentor guides a newcomer.

A mentor is a person who is simple words is working as an advisor to a person who is less experienced than him. A mentor’s job is to use their experience and skill to guide the mentee in the correct direction. A coach is a person who focuses more on task completion and the performance shown by the people he is coaching.

Comparison Table Between Coaching and Mentoring

Parameter of Comparison




Coaching is a relationship for a specific time which could be for 6 months or a year based on the person’s progress.

Mentoring is based on more of a longer-term as it focuses on building a good relationship with the mentee.


Coaching is based more on performance and completing milestones.

Mentoring based on knowing the mentee which involves advising and helping them find solutions.


The formation of coaching is more organized as it is more performance-driven

Mentoring is not organized as it depends heavily on the needs of the mentee.

Skill or Expertness

Coaches are hired based on their proficiency in a specific skill

It depends more on experience and seniority.


Results from coaching can be measured or are specific

The result from mentoring is harder to measure as it depends on the development of the person.

What is Coaching?

In simple words, think of coaching as a process which is aiming to help better the performance of the person who is being coached. Coaching is mostly based on the present as the goals set by a coach are based on things you can do at present.

For example, You want to lose some weight and in order to do so, you hire a fitness coach. What will be the job of the fitness coach be? He will be assigning goals that you can accomplish daily so that you gradually progress to your target weight.

In order to do so, the coach will be assigning your exercises and identify goals that you will be able to reach.

One thing coaches do is set milestones so that after you complete each milestone you are motivated and can carry on pushing yourself further to complete the other milestones.

Think of a
coach not as an expert but as a person who can facilitate you to help you learn
more. There is a vast difference between teaching someone and helping a person

A coach will
help you learn and after enabling you to learn you will notice that it is
easier for you to improve your own performance. A good coach will not give you
the solution to your problems.

Rather he will
help you find the solution because he knows if you learn the ability to find
the solution by yourself it is going to help you develop into a better person
and also help you better your performance.

What is Mentoring?

A mentor is someone who you go to seek knowledge because they are more experienced than you. A mentor can be your father, mother, a friend or a person who is more experienced than you at a particular thing.

The job of the
mentor is to guide the mentee into building positive and effective habits that are
going to help him become better at his job or at life.

relationship between a mentor and a mentee is more like a friend. For example,
You go to your friend for relationship advice. Your girlfriend just left you
and you are asking your friend How to deal with this situation of your broken heart?

The friend who
you went for advice is more experienced in this field than you so he will help
you guide through the process and recover. So, in this case, your friend
mentored you through a tough time in your life.

Other examples of mentorship can be in business or at a job. For example, You just started working on your new job. The people, the atmosphere everything is new to you. So, you go up to a person who has been working there longer than you.

You ask advice on how to cope with the pressure of this new job and many other questions that may come in your mind. The person is going to help you get acclimated to your new surroundings and build a relationship with you.

This will enable you to depend on them, ask for advice and also help you become a better person. A mentee needs to be open with the mentor so that he or she can share any problem with the mentor.

These are the reasons why the relationship between a mentor and mentee is very important.

Mentorship is very important in our life and a good mentor can help us become successful both in our personal and professional life.

Main Differences Between Coaching and Mentoring

  1. Coaching can be defined as a partnership with a person to inspire and help them reach the peak of their ability in their professional and personal life. Whereas a mentor can be a person who is more experienced than you and can advise you.
  2. The relationship between a coach and their client is very time-specific. The job of the coach is to help you reach a specific goal within a time frame and after that goal has been achieved the coach is not needed anymore.
  3. For a mentor though there is no timeframe. The relationship between a mentor and mentee can last for a long time because mentors build a relationship with the mentee. So, it is normal for a mentee to seek advice regarding any problems from the mentor which can be both personal and professional.
  4. The focus of Coaching is driven more by milestones, performance, and deadlines. Whereas mentoring works more on building a relationship with the mentee and guiding them through the development process.
  5. Coaching is more structured and organized whereas in mentoring the meetings are much more informal and arranged as per the necessity of the mentee.
  6. A coach is hired based on their expertise in a given field so that they can help develop the person. Whereas for mentors they are chosen based on their seniority and experience.


Both Coaching and Mentoring are crucial for our progress. A coach is more performance-driven as they focus on improving our performance whereas a mentor can be a consultant or an advisor or a friend.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0974173920100214?journalCode=nhra