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Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

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2 Are mentoring and coaching different or the same?

A funny black and white cartoon depicting a mentor and his mentees.
Figure 3 Mentor and mentees

The differences and similarities between mentoring and coaching are extensively discussed in the academic literature and online, but this widely shared, unattributed quote seems to encapsulate the key difference neatly:

A coach has some great questions for your answers. A mentor has some great answers for your questions.

Activity 3 The same or different?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

From the list of words given below, choose the ones that you think best relate to mentoring and/or coaching. Type the words mentoring, coaching or both into the table.

TermMentoring and/or coaching?
Fixed-term relationship
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Ongoing relationship
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Informal
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Structured
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Long term
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Short term
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Experience
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Questions
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Specific goals
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Career development
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Words: 0
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Discussion

There are no consistently right or wrong answers to this question. For example, while a coaching relationship tends to have a fixed term and more structure than a mentoring one, that isn’t always the case. Some mentoring relationships will be informal and ad hoc, whereas others will have more structure, depending on the preferences and availability of the individuals involved. The debate will continue, with different professionals explaining coaching and mentoring in subtly different ways. Watch this video to see some views from practitioners.

Download this video clip.Video player: b867_2016e_vid013_640x360.mp4
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