During this week’s Team Leader training (at our office), we discussed the differences between being a “coach” and being a “mentor.” The two words are often used interchangeably, but really have different meanings. Both are critical to success.
We shared two very small words that point to the key difference: DO and BE.
A coach is more about the doing; how do I complete a task correctly? How do I work more efficiently? How do I meet production goals?
A mentor is about the being; who am I being in the world? What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of employee/leader/teammate do I want to be?
I decided to do some additional research and found other simple contrasts between the two.
A coach is function-based, while a mentor is rooted in the relationship.
The focus of a coach is performance, while the mentor is focused on the individual.
The coach often comes with the job; the mentor is usually selected.
The coach’s teachings are applicable to the task at hand, the mentor shares skills for life.
Consider these quotes:
A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. -Oprah Winfrey
A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. – John Wooden
What qualities have you observed in your best coaches and mentors?
Tuesday Tidbits are weekly messages I send to my leadership team. They are generally short & sweet, often focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, motivational. I hope you also find some meaning in them.