So do you want a Business Coach or a Business Mentor?
It is very common for people and business people, in particular, to ask the question ‘What is the difference between a Business Coach and a Business Mentor? Mentoring and coaching are often used interchangeably in the business environment. That’s why in many organizations, a mentor is expected to undertake coaching responsibilities as well.
Despite what most people think, there is a big difference between a mentor and a coach. In order to understand these two roles, you need to know the specific responsibilities of a mentor and a coach.
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Who is a business mentor?
A mentor is someone who offers knowledge, expertise, and advice to those with less experience. A mentor helps mentees consider opportunities for career growth, gain confidence and improve interpersonal skills. The support is based on the mentor’s own experiences and learning, which makes them more reliable.
Specifically, a mentor helps in exploring one’s career options, setting development goals, developing new contacts, and identifying resources. In this way, a mentor serves as a professional advisor and role model for the mentees.
Mentors share their skills and knowledge with the mentees. Since they have faced the same challenges as their mentees, they are more empathetic towards their needs. These qualities make it easier for the mentees to discuss their professional goals and concerns with them.
In business, mentors help employees gain more confidence in their work and develop skills to add value. Confident and satisfied employees help in the growth of the company, which explains why a number of businesses are now shifting their focus on identifying the right mentoring programs.
Who is a business coach?
A business coach focuses on specific skills and development goals by breaking them into tasks to be completed within a specified period of time. By doing so, business coaches help and guide businesses to clarify their growth vision. For many businesses, identifying and prioritizing goals is a big challenge. Business coaches address this challenge by helping businesses prioritize their goals on the basis of importance. They follow a more formal, structured approach to resolve issues and manage specific aspects of the work.
A business coach is hired because of the specific need a company may need, business coaches, cover various aspects of running a successful business. These may include sales targets, marketing strategies, communication skills, team building, leadership, and many more. For businesses, a coach helps them succeed by guiding them in the right direction. Often businesses don’t focus on where they want to be and the steps they need to follow to achieve success, a business coach provides clarity. They give specific advice and opinions to get businesses straight.
- A Business Mentor is someone who shares their business experiences, earned knowledge, and skills with a mentee. A Business Coach on the other hand is skilled in coaching and with specific knowledge in the area the client aims to improve.
- A business mentor offers solutions and advice on which the mentees need to know about their business journey, they help the business to get to the desired destination with enough knowledge of what to expect. They prepare their mentees early for their business targets. A business coach does not give solutions but shows the possible estimates that the business can find beneficial. They point their clients in the right direction and help the business to get there. Unlike the business mentor, a coach has never been on the business growth journey alone.
- With both a Business Mentor and Business Coach, the learning style will differ, depending on their style and also the needs of the client. A Mentor lets the client ask questions, decide on what to talk about, and shares with the mentee answers based on their personal experiences. On the other hand, a business coach sets the questions and agendas to be dealt with and the client is then guided to work out the solution and then practice to sharpen their skills, with them being responsible for their own development.
- In terms of additional benefits, a mentor gives his clients new ideas strategies, and solutions and can offer advice and guidance. With a business coach, the client immediately gets specific skill sets and direct benefits of the area of improvement that they have been coached on.
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- Mentoring is a long-term process based on mutual trust and respect. Coaching, on the other hand, is for a short period of time.
- Mentoring is more focused on creating an informal association between the mentor and the client, whereas coaching follows a more structured and formal approach.
- A business mentor has first-hand experience of the mentee’s line of work. A business coach, however, does not need to have hands-on experience of the work the client is engaged in.
Both business mentors and coaches benefit businesses in different ways. To benefit the most, businesses need to be clear on their priorities and what kind of support they want. With the right support, businesses become more productive, profitable and competitive.
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