Instructing, Mentoring & Coaching

#Leadership #Projectmanagement #projectmanagers

We all talk about Mentoring and Coaching, yet these 2 terms are very misunderstood. That’s why I want to spend the next few days discovering these a bit more. Many, when they talk about mentoring or coaching, actually mean instructing. For example, the sports coach is traditionally often seen as more of an instructor. But when you look at the really successful sports coaches you will see instruction is a very small part of what they do. They work with the rest of the coaching team to help the individual sportsmen / women to progress in their performance on a totally different level. Real coaching!

So, let’s look at the 3 terms. For this I like looking at the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.

Instruct somebody (in something): (Formal) To teach somebody something, especially a practical skill / to give someone information about something

Mentor: an experienced person who advises and helps some body with less experience over a period of time

Coaching: Here Oxford Advanced Learners refers mainly to the Sports Coach

Life coach: a person who is employed by somebody to give them advice about how to achieve the things they want in their life & work

I think here you are already starting to see the difference:

  • Instructing is when you tell someone what to do.
  • Mentoring is done by a subject matter expert who guides, but does not instruct.
  • A Coach does not even need to be a subject matter expert. S/he helps direct the thought process and sort the thoughts of the person being coached.

But let’s look at what the experts say:,another%20to%20develop%20and%20grow.&text=A%20coach%20is%20someone%20who,them%20reach%20their%20full%20potential.

The Definitions of Coaching and Mentoring

Mentoring: The Definition
A mentor is someone who shares their knowledge, skills and/or experience, to help another to develop and grow.

Coaching: The Definition
A coach is someone who provides guidance to a client on their goals and helps them reach their full potential.

Time frameLong Term (6 months +)Often Short Term
IntentKnowledge sharing, experience sharingPoses the right questions, prepares space, trust & confidence for self-development
Skill LevelNo certification requiredShould have training in coaching
DirectiveDirectiveNon-directive / suggestive
AimDevelopment DrivenPerformance Driven
Skills required– Willingness to help
– Subject matter knowledge & experience
– Relationship building
– Interpersonal skill
– Long-term commitment
– Motivator
– Inspirational 
– Relationship building – relationship of equals
– Ability to maximize resources
– InspirationalAbility to recognize strengths & challenge individuals
– Ability to make it real and find balance between interpersonal skills and practical skills
– Ability to help sort & focus thoughts and ideas
Goal settingClear Goals SetClear Goals Set

We’ll be looking more into details over the next few days.

One Reply to “Instructing, Mentoring & Coaching”

  1. Having met Stephanie changed my perspective towards dreams and achievements. I realized that it’s not always about what one gains in class or from books, but life experiences have a large part in shaping one’s dreams. Going an extra mile and making the best out of ones efforts is what matters a lot. For example, an item might not be as attractive enough to lead to a purchase, but what if you put more creativity in the picture? I mean, thinking outside the box is important. Thanks to Stephanie, I believe in myself more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *