When comparing the difference between a business mentor or coach, it is important to note that the terms business mentor and coach are often used interchangeably,It is true that in some aspects of business mentoring there are elements of coaching. Which is as clear as mud anyone outside of the sector, business mentoring and coaching are two different defined skill sets, much as consulting and counselling are.
When looking at the two difference between a business mentor or coach it is important to look at the areas in which the roles differ.
Business Coaching is..
"a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve." - Eric Parsloe, The Manager as Coach and Mentor (1999)
A business coach is focused mainly on setting and achieving goals, tasks and development and by being so helps the coachee (the business being coached) to set priorities to their goals by order of importance. Coaching sessions tend to have a more formal structured approach to problem solving.
Business Mentor is..
"help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking" Clutterbuck, D & Megginson, D, Mentoring Executives and Directors (1999)
A business mentor is someone with learned expertise whom offers advice and knowledge to those with less experience. A guiding hand if you like or a sounding board to guide the mentee (that's you) in the right direction. A business mentor helps mentees through their own experience with the issues of the day, career progression, tough decisions in business, HR, employment, contracts, marketing, sales, production, operation the list goes on and on.
..and what does a Business Mentor actually do?
Where a coach is more structured a good Business Mentor will be a little more informal and fluid in their approach, in tune with the mentees requirements, the longer the mentoring the deeper the relationship. Part of the benefit of using an experienced mentor, is that they are generally willing to share skills, knowledge and contacts. Generally business mentors posses a 'just do it' attitude, a 'get up and go' approach to solving day to day issues, whether personal or business related.
Outcomes from the difference between a business mentor or coach
In what way do the outcomes differ from the different approaches? This is harder to explain as the overall outcomes tend to be very similar, whether you are focusing on goals, or dealing with issues, the end results tend to be a better balanced individual and business.
Each discipline requires a personal relationship and most business mentors and coaches will offer a 'no divorce clause' which means if whichever method you choose is not working for you, then you should stop your sessions, and either try the other discipline and/or a different individual. Take a look at our code of conduct, whom ever you choose they should have a similar ethos.