No matter what success you seem to reach in your career, sometimes you can benefit from mentoring or coaching to keep your momentum and encourage you to continue to crush your goals.

Whether you’re already an executive or aspiring to be one, mentoring and coaching can keep you heading in the right direction.

That said, mentoring and coaching are not interchangeable. A mentor and a coach do two different things, and it’s crucial to figure out the right method for you.

Let’s help you get clarity about the differences between mentoring and. coaching. Keep reading to learn the difference between these two methods and decide which will best help your personal development.

What Is Mentoring?

Before diving into the differences between mentoring vs. coaching, you must learn what each is. Let’s start with mentoring.

In general, a good mentor shares their knowledge, skills, and personal experience with other individuals to help them grow and develop their own skills.

A mentoring relationship involves a mentor and a mentee. A mentor is often at a point in life that you may aspire to reach, such as in a particular role in your career. This is where much of the value of mentorship lies.

A mentor can instruct a mentee on past mistakes and choices that led them to where they are now. They are a wealth of information and experiences, however they are not necessarily trained in helping you implement their suggestions.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching involves a professional providing guidance to clients to help them reach their goals and achieve maximum fulfillment. A coach’s job is to fully understand their client’s goals and show them how to reach their full potential.

A career coach doesn’t necessarily have to have direct experience in your professional field to help guide you. They often have knowledge and insights into how to most effectively attain your goals based on what you are trying to achieve.

Now that you know what mentoring and coaching entail, let’s compare the two to help you figure out which one is best for you.

two business people on ipad

Mentoring vs. Coaching — Key Points

Mentoring and coaching are great choices to enable your growth and give you that extra push to help you achieve your goals more effectively. It’s essential to choose the right method that will best work for your current life situation.

There are several similarities between mentoring vs. coaching. Here are a few points great mentors and coaches have in common:

  • Gaining your trust and creating a safe space to discuss your goals and needs
  • Guiding an individual on the best way to achieve their goals
  • Regularly scheduled meetings to determine progress

So now you know about mentoring and coaching mentoring vs. coaching, let’s see which is the best fit for you. To help you out, we’ve highlighted some main differences between mentoring and coaching.


Coaches have clients, while mentors have mentees. One key difference between mentoring and coaching is that people typically hire coaches, while mentors may more commonly develop from a natural relationship.

Although there are some circumstances where you could pay for a business mentor, proper mentorship is typically non-commercial. That said, this can make it more difficult to find a mentor than a coach.

Who Does the Talking

In a mentoring relationship, the mentor usually does most of the talking during sessions. The primary goal of mentorship is for the mentor to transfer knowledge to the mentee.

In contrast, a professional coach is hired to provide guidance by learning as much as possible about their client. During each coaching session, a good coach asks powerful questions, and the client does most of the talking.


Since mentorship is experience-driven, great mentors usually have similar experiences to their mentees. That said, other than lived experience and knowledge that would be useful for a mentee, there isn’t too much experience required to become a mentor, as a mentor-mentee relationship progresses as time goes on.

On the other hand, coaching usually requires an individual to go through some training or attain some qualifications, depending on the type of coach. Don’t hesitate to ask for their qualifications and experience when looking for a business coach.

Time Commitment

Mentor-mentee relationships typically last anywhere from a year to decades. A mentoring program is usually a longer-term commitment than a coaching program – sometimes, mentoring relationships can last a lifetime.

Mentorship is less structured than coaching and can more easily evolve as the mentee’s life evolves and moves forward, even beyond their career.

A coaching relationship is often a shorter commitment, as a client may enlist the help of an external coach for a specific time in their life. The coach-client relationship makes coaching a more structured method of guidance.

Moreover, clients may only meet their coach for short but sweet sessions that last from 15 to 30 minutes. This makes it a better choice if you like a more structured approach. Mentoring meetings may be less structured and more casual, meeting over coffee, dinner, or drinks.

businessman with business coach

Mentoring vs. Coaching: Your Choice

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of mentoring vs coaching and can decide which is the best choice to enable your growth and help you achieve your goals. Likely a combination of both will be most advantageous for you.

If coaching is the road you choose, consider 1428 Transformations to guide you to become a better leader, professional, and overall man.

With the help of a certified men’s life coach, you’ll receive the support and encouragement you need to take control of your life and enrich your life experience.

Book your introductory call today to learn more about my process.